For many in this country, we are in the midst of “spring break” frenzy! It’s that time of year when students of all ages and their families embark on an annual “pilgrimage” somewhere OTHER than home, to experience a change of scenery, maybe a little warmth, or perhaps some shooshing down ski slopes!
Some fly, some take trains, and many take to the roads. Every family should take at least ONE road trip – it’s like a rite of passage and education into “Americana culture” and into the crazy and silly quirks of this nation!
But no matter where you travel on that road trip, I can pretty much guarantee you that the pattern for each journey is always the same. The first third of the outbound journey is inevitably characterized of eagerness and excitement; the newness of the journey provides energy, giggles, lots of conversation, and the anticipation of adventure!
The final third of the trip is equally as exciting because you can almost feel the sunshine on your face, smell the ocean breezes, taste the hot cocoa served by the fireplace in the chalet! You can smile with thrilling contentment as you can finally and honestly say, “Yes! We ARE almost there, kids!”
But we can’t forget the second third. Ohhhhh my, the middle third of that trip! Ahem. That’s when you start pulling out the “Stop touching her”, and the “Will you please stop whining?”! It’s the portion of the trip when you need to be careful not to get irritated, complacent, and bored with the journey, lest you fall asleep behind the wheel or find yourself daydreaming of something more exciting and veer off the road.
This central third is when you need to be diligent in your observations of what you see along the path, because the temptation can be to become lulled with the scenery and miss something important – like the world’s biggest ball of twine or something super cool and life-enhancing like that! 😉
Can I tell you something sort of neat? You know how amazed I always am at God’s timing, right?This week, we’ve entered that middle third of our RISE Winter/Spring 2014 journey! We’ve been through the first 5 Psalms of Ascent, and now we’re in the middle 5! We’ve been doing a fantastic job so far of taking in the sights, eagerly watching for new insights, and adding a ton of wisdom to our tanks.
But, girls, we better be careful not to get complacent now. We still have a ways to go and I want to make sure we finish with a bang!
Like I said, the middle third of any trip can kind of lull us into complacency, boredom, a sense of “been there, done that.” But we’re smarter than that! We’re on a mission to rise – and we’re not going to get off course that easily! Here’s what I mean:
Psalm 125 begins with more promises of protection. But if we’re careful not to miss it – this Psalm doesn’t just say the same thing as the one before it (you recall Psalm 124, right? Our crazy cool psalm of protection and rescue?). This psalm adds another, deeper layer – that our own individual faith is like Mount Zion! In other words, our faith is unshakeable and rock solid if we place out faith in the Lord! He encircles our Jerusalem and keeps it standing, regardless of what our circumstances look like (because remember – Jerusalem literally means “city of peace”!). Feels like things are getting a bit more personal, my friends!
The Psalm ends with a little warning, tho, about becoming complacent in our faith lives – so pertinent for someone (like us) in the middle section of a journey! The Psalmist tells us to be careful of the backslide – that tendency to veer off-course or take an extended pit stop. We need to be careful not to get tempted to drop the diligence or forget looking for the cool blessings along the way.
No matter where we are, no matter what journey we might be traveling, we can have such comfort in knowing that no matter how far we backslide, how much we are tempted, God always helps us out of the jam and back to the straight and narrow, as long as we’re wise enough to look for it!
This post is for all of us traveling a journey – regardless of length, situation, or circumstance! I pray this message encourages each of us to stay the course, to stick with it, and avoid veering off our path. We’re in this together, sweet friends!
Aren’t you so glad there’s always a way back to the path?! Me too. God meets us wherever we are and brings us through. I pray for the humility to let Him!
You are totally in for a treat today! Here is the link to one of my most FAVORITE songs right now by Rend Collective Experiment: “Build Your Kingdom Here”! Click it, turn up the volume, and get ready to celebrate God’s Kingdom and presence HERE!!!!
I KNOW you’re smiling right now!
Peace, love, and JOY!
Up Next Week: MORE than just the daily grind