Keep me from distraction from whimsy and woe.
Let me be fixed always on you,
To trust when you lead where I wish not to go
And trust when you lead where I do.
People struggle to respond to imperfect people.
When roads diverge, how are we then to choose
The good, acceptable, and perfect way?
We guess what we might gain, what we might lose,
But which is better cannot ever say.
We walk by faith. Indeed. But does that mean
That we distrust our wisdom and our eyes?
Should we step forth in spite of what we see,
Ignoring earth whilst looking to the skies?
Or, in our ignorance, would it be best
To stop, be still, and know that you are God?
To proceed not with hastiness but rest?
To trust you to make straight the roads we trod?
LORD, in our walking, let our focus be
Not as much on our paths as upon thee.
“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in [pursuit] of a [seminary education] must be in want of a wife.”
Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice (slightly adjusted)
“It is well with my soul.”
God of burning bushes, smoking mountains,
Clouds and flaming pillars in the distance,
God who spoke the earth into existence,
Calling from dry rocks fresh, flowing fountains,
Are you just as present in the present,
In the average and ordinary?
Does your presence with us ever vary
If our days are boring or unpleasant?
For, it seems, our lives are unexciting,
Work and worship in a world of faces–
Seems so commonplace, these common places.
Is it true, O God, you are inviting
Those with ears to hear to live in wonder?
In our silence, might we hear your thunder?
James encourages Christians to “be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger” (James 1:19). A brief scroll through the average believer’s social media feed may suggest that we as Christ followers struggle to apply James’s teaching. We can be quick to anger when we read something disagreeable, quick to speak our mind on the matter, and slow to truly hear any alternate or opposing position. Our passions appear to be very much at war within the body (James 4:1), and the casualties of war extend beyond the church to the lost world watching us fight.
Pain oft will come, will not relent.
You may well feel your strength is spent.
Pour out to God all your lament.
Lay down all weight. Let go all sin.
Temptation comes. Refocus, then
And when you stumble, rise again.
Pleasures of life will bid you stay.
Stay focused on the narrow way.
Pass through the night to brightest day.