Hello there, friends.
Today is the first official day of the new year for me, as we traveled for three weeks and just got stationed back inside our home and normal routine this past weekend. I’ve stocked the refrigerator, paid the bills, run some errands, and am sitting back at my favorite place in our home: my desk.
All feels right with the world again, and I’m ready to start afresh. How about you?
At the start of this new year, I thought I would institute a new occasional feature here on Still Forming, called pulse check. This will be an opportunity for us to stop and take a look around at our personal worlds and consider some things: how are we doing in certain areas of life? what do we need? what are we noticing?
Every once in a while, it’s helpful to stop and look around. Don’t you agree?
So today, let’s take a pulse check concerning our relationship with God.
What is that relationship like for you these days? Is God present? Absent? Talkative? Silent? Are you finding yourself connected in new ways to God right now? Is something different, puzzling, exciting, or particularly hard? How would you describe that relationship right now?
Here’s my answer to the question, and feel free to share yours in the comments.
Although I absolutely love to travel, I am pretty much a homebody and incredible creature of habit. I need my quiet, my familiar environs, and the sacredness of my morning routine. These are things that help me connect to God, to find a still point and center from which to live out my days, and to sit in the stillness before Jesus and learn what he wants to offer to you here in this space.
So traveling, as much as I adore it, always takes a bit of a toll on me, and these last three weeks away are no exception.
Today was the first day in quite some time that I opened my Bible and spent time reading and reflecting on its pages. It was the first time in quite a while that I closed my eyes, met with Jesus, and asked him what he wanted to say. It was the first time I’d opened my mouth to sing a few hymns out loud in the silence and solitude of my little corner of our home. It was the first time in ages that I pulled out my prayer mat and knelt and then lay face-down on it to pray.
Since I’ve been out of practice at taking this extended time of quiet with Jesus, it was a bit harder than usual or expected to quiet my brain and really focus on him. The ticking of the new clock on my desk distracted me to no end, and my mind kept flitting to to-do-list tasks and what to make for dinner, among other things.
But eventually — through a line of the psalms that jumped off the page and landed in my heart, echoing my own prayer; through the incredible stories of Peter and John in the early chapters of Acts; through the story of Elijah throwing his cloak over the unsuspecting Elisha; and through the glorious imagery and victory of the last chapters of Revelation — my focus began to return.
I’ve missed my connection to Jesus these last few weeks. Even though we’ve been connected in more everyday ways these last few weeks — in conversations I carried with him in my heart on our car rides and plane trips, in conversations I carried with Kirk and with others about spiritual matters, in prayers offered from the bathroom tile floor when I was sicker than a dog, and in a regular sense of his presence carried with me as I drove around town or walked the aisles of a grocery store — it is really the quiet, extended routine at my desk each day that keeps me connected in meaningful ways to Jesus right now in my life.
I’ve missed him, and I’ve missed this routine, and I need it. I’m so glad to be back at home.
What about you? If you take a pulse check of your relationship with God right now, what do you find? Feel free to share your reponse in the comments. xo