But more than anything else, put God's work first and do what he wants. Then the other things will be yours as well. Don't worry about tomorrow. It will take care of itself. You have enough to worry about today. (Matthew 6:33-34)
I love the way that different resources often come together to make an impact in my life. This morning I've been thinking about how or why that happens, and I believe the answer is found in this idea of meditation we've been thinking about this week.
Today, by way of example, it's only 8:30 am - yet I already feel powerfully animated by the presence of God... and it hasn't only been one thing. I'll highlight some of the variables and then we'll discuss what connects them.
- I woke up extra early in order to make sure Rebekah had some fresh coffee before leaving to moderate a potentially very difficult meeting of area ministers.
- I read today's Upper Room meditation and made careful note of the writer's suggestion that it's not enough to "not worry" - we need to add a sense of expectation.
- I prayed for Rebekah and let her know that I was planning to be in constant conversation with God about her day.
- I read a familiar passage of scripture (the "don't worry" section of the Sermon on the Mount).
- I walked Scout in a deliberately meditative frame of mind, and - consequently - heard God speaking to me through the beauty of the early morning and the abundant evidence of God's creative love.
- I "listened" to a spectacular red cardinal who hopped in my direction, cocked his head, then flew to a low limb on one of our oak trees. Everything about him said "I'm expectant for blessing this morning - are you?"
- I posted a quote from "The Unmaking of a Part-Time Christian" on facebook - the quote then inspired me enough to add a rare new entry at my "No More Part-Time Christian" blog.
The "not worry part" of the Sermon on the Mount passage is passive, it's something that we're not doing. Living expectantly, however, is a proactive response; it's something that we choose to do, that we walk into, that we add our "amen" to.
What brings all this together so powerfully, I believe, is the aspect of meditation. Meditation is defined many ways, but - for the Christian - meditation can be a deliberate contemplation of the fact of God. Meditation is an invitation to ourselves, a self-ushering into the awareness of God - and God's glory - and God's love... and whatever it is of God that we need to engage.
What I did, quietly, inwardly, at the very onset of today - was to place the idea of living expectantly as a kind of backdrop to my consciousness. Maybe a better term is "filter". Everything that happens is going to be redirected through the filter of expectancy for God.
The various experiences are all unique - but the filter of expectancy for knowledge of God is common to everything.
It's early yet - still before 9:00 AM. I'll be interested to see how the rest of this busy day interfaces with this filter of expectancy.