“Success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it.” – Henry David Thoreau
The word of the day, from Dictionary.com, is vexillology, “the study of flags.” Sheldon Cooper, no doubt, knows this word well.
Aha. I get it, now. Today is Flag Day!
I really don’t have much to talk about, this morning, on a personal level. Band practice was good, work was busy, but went well. Plus I’m running a little behind, this morning, so I’ll get on to the important stuff.
(From Praying With the Psalms)
O God, the nations have come into your inheritance; they have defiled your holy temple; they have laid Jerusalem in ruins.
They have given the bodies of your servants to the birds of the heavens for food, the flesh of your faithful to the beasts of the earth.
They have poured out their blood like water all around Jerusalem, and there was no one to bury them.
We have become a taunt to our neighbors, mocked and derided by those around us.
How long, O LORD? Will you be angry forever? Will your jealousy burn like fire?
Pour out your anger on the nations that do not know you, and on the kingdoms that do not call upon your name!
For they have devoured Jacob and laid waste his habitation.
Do not remember against us our former iniquities; let your compassion come speedily to meet us, for we are brought very low.
Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of your name; deliver us, and atone for our sins, for your name’s sake!
Why should the nations say, “Where is their God?” Let the avenging of the outpoured blood of your servants be known among the nations before our eyes!
Let the groans of the prisoners come before you; according to your great power, preserve those doomed to die!
Return sevenfold into the lap of our neighbors the taunts with which they have taunted you, O Lord!
But we your people, the sheep of your pasture, will give thanks to you forever; from generation to generation we will recount your praise.
“The desecration of Jerusalem by the Babylonians is behind this prayer.” There are cries for vengeance, because of the pillaging brought on by the enemy. But the psalmist is also aware that the judgment of God is involved, which explains the cries of repentance, seeking compassion.
“O God, help me to be aware of the wrongs done to your children, to be sensitive to the violence done to your people. Then teach me to pray in a caring, compassionate spirit for your justice and your salvation. Amen.”
(From Daily Guideposts 2016)
“Stand by the roads, and look, and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is; and walk in it, and find rest for your souls.”
Lisa Bogart writes of a time when she discovered a labyrinth at a local Presbyterian church. I am fascinated by labyrinths, and wish I could find one close to home. I know of one in Southlake, but it’s a ways from my home. A labyrinth is a prayer path, designed for people to pray while they follow the meandering path to the center. When Lisa found this one, she followed the path and stood at the center, praying, “Thank you, God, for the joy of this discovery.”
She has walked this labyrinth many times, but still finds herself wondering which way to turn next. “If I try to see where I’m headed, I’m often wrong. Yet I know if I stay on the path, I will make it to the center.”
It’s easy to trust our steps when we are walking on a planned-out path, such as a labyrinth. It’s harder when we are not on such a path. “With no clear path to follow, it’s difficult to stay on course.” The lesson is there, from the labyrinth . . . “pray on the path.”
We may not hear God’s voice, but we can know and feel his presence. We can also know and acknowledge that we all walk together, and we walk with God. Sometimes, we have a clear destination. Other times, we cannot see where we are going, and we may find ourselves on a detour. But if we pray on the path, we can have confidence that we walk with God.
Father, this is a good, simple, life lesson. It is also something that I have been striving for, over recent days, to “pray on the path.” I am still finding it a struggle to pray without ceasing, throughout the day. I am finding some success, but not enough to be satisfied. May your Holy Spirit remind me constantly to be praying, as I walk through my day. I also pray for the knowledge that you and I are walking together, in Christ, by the Spirit.
Come, Lord Jesus!
The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.
Grace and peace, friends.