As we continue through our Lenten journey, looking towards Holy Week – these verses are a challenge, a promise and a prayer. “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. . . . Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.” – Psalm 51:10, 12
The sentences above was my facebook status this morning. The passage came from the online Upper Room readings this morning. I don’t know about you, but I needed to hear them. It is so easy to get caught up in the busy-ness of life and all of the things that “have” to get done, that at least for me, the things that I treasure sometimes get pushed aside. There’s only so long that we can spin like tops like in Inception without completely stopping and getting skewed.
I think some of us see God as the One that keeps the top spinning. We see God as the strength to get us through the next thing and the next and the next. This time of year when there’s just a month left in the semester, in many ways I cling to that image of God giving us the strength, perseverance, and grace to keep moving and going and completing the things that we need to complete and remembering the things we need to remember.
For some of us, it’s harder to see God as the One that sometimes is this one to stop the top mid-spin. If you’re in the middle of dancing to a good song or jamming in your car, you don’t want the song to suddenly go off either by someone changing the channel or an emergency test or you arriving at your location. Sometimes though it takes this sometimes awkward pause to wake us up to realize that we’ve been running on our own steam and in our own self-centeredness and self-involvement and that we haven’t connected to the One who sustains us in awhile.
It’s not that we haven’t been doing what we need to do. It’s not that I haven’t gone to worship or small group or done the “minister” stuff, but no matter how long the to do list is and no matter how many directions our minds are pulled in whether in worry or day dreaming or whatever, sometimes we need to press the pause button and reconnect with the One who is providing us with the music.
My prayer for myself and each of us is that if we’re speeding through this Lenten journey and we’re thinking we’re in the home stretch, that we’re just as attentive now to God’s leading as we were when we started this journey on Ash Wednesday. My hope is that we’re just as committed, disciplined and awakened to God’s joy and presence now as when we first believed. May God speak to us in clear and powerful ways and may we have ears to listen and hearts ready to receive. May our lives be renewed and restored, and may we trust that God will uphold us today, tomorrow and forevermore!