“It comes the very moment you wake up each morning. All your wishes and hopes for the day rush at you like wild animals. And the first job each morning consists simply in shoving them all back; in listening to that other voice, taking that other point of view, letting that other larger, stronger, quieter life come flowing in. And so on, all day. Standing back from all your natural fussings and frettings; coming in out of the wind.” ~C.S. Lewis
The dog is snoring at my feet just as he has been for the last six weeks. As I sit here typing this I’m just going to catch my breath for a moment. It has been a long, grueling six weeks. Six intense weeks of studying, and writing papers, and reading articles and developing power points. Yikes! But I made it. I’m on the other side of things and once again, God has proven his faithfulness. Two A’s and a B+. Not bad for a jam-packed, academic adventure.
Before the outset of this adventure, I wrote about my fears for the upcoming weeks. How was I going to make it through? I worried, which, if you know me, is nothing new. But I also kept in mind that if I just clung to it, God’s mercy, grace and peace were there for me in abundance. I knew that if I could keep that knowledge close to my heart, I would do more than just survive.
The thing about God’s grace and mercy is that they’re constant. Eternal. Ever present. They’re the very reality of who God is. But to keep a quiet heart, to have his peace at the center of everything I do, well, I think that’s a little bit up to me. I mean his peace is always there full and available. But the thing is, will I take it, will I keep it, will I trust it?
I’m currently reading through and journaling in a Bible that I plan to give to my son someday. I just finished the book of Genesis this morning. One of my favorite things about the book of Genesis is the fact that there are all these stories about the great heroes of faith—people just like you and me who struggled in their day to day living. People like Noah and Abraham, Issac and Jacob. I know their stories well. And as I’ve been reading through this book, it struck me that none of their lives were easy. They all struggled in one way or another. But the great thing about reading their stories is seeing how God provided for them through each and every struggle they faced. When they came to the end of their days, it’s apparent, they didn’t go through their journey alone. God’s grace, mercy and peace were there with them every step of the way, just as it is for us.
But it’s easy to forget that in the midst of our difficulties, strivings, frettings and fussings. And In the day to day drudgery of life, it’s very difficult to operate out of a quiet spirit. That’s where the quote from one of my all-time favorite Christian authors, C.S. Lewis comes in:
“It comes the very moment you wake up each morning. All your wishes and hopes for the day rush at you like wild animals. And the first job each morning consists simply in shoving them all back; in listening to that other voice, taking that other point of view, letting that other larger, stronger, quieter life come flowing in. And so on, all day. Standing back from all your natural fussings and frettings; coming in out of the wind.”
Coming in out of the wind. So how exactly does one do that? For me it has to happen straight away in the morning. It’s very much so about how I start my day. Quiet time. it’s more than just a Christian catch phrase. It’s a very real way to function in a world that sweeps us up all too often in its chaos and confusion.
For me it looks like this. On my busy days, five minutes, tops, I sit down, read a chapter or passage or even a single verse and let God speak to me through it. Then I take another minute or so and pray to God about my day. Nothing big. Nothing fancy. Just simple words expressed from my heart. My worries, fears, struggles, I just lay them out before him. Then, I finish by saying a couple of verses to myself. After that, I start my day.
The thing about a quiet time is it doesn’t have to be extravagant. It doesn’t have to be lengthy. But for me it’s more important than even that morning cup of coffee. It’s how I start my day, every day. Even when I’m busy, even when life is frantically rushing around me. That’s how I keep God’s peace close to my heart. That’s how I come in out of the wind.
As I sign off for this week, I hope that you will take to heart what I’ve written and practice coming in out of the wind each and every day. Then you will know God’s mercy, grace and peace like you’ve never known it before. May that mercy, grace and peace be yours in abundance my friends! Till next time.