Watching the Paint Dry

Today is Friday, June 16, 2017. Day 21,645.

“Courage is the art of being the only one who knows you’re scared to death.” ~ Harold Wilson
The Quotations Page

Today’s word of the day is “yips,” a noun meaning, “a state of nervous tension affecting an athlete (such as a golfer) in the performance of a crucial action.”

Today is Fudge Day. I’m going to have to see if I can come up with some of that. I could not help but notice that all of today’s “holidays” begin with “F.” Fresh Veggies Day, Fudge Day, and Flip-flops Day. And it’s Friday. Coincidence? I think not!

I’m looking forward to tomorrow. I believe R&J are coming over, and we’re going to Hoffbrau for lunch. This will be our Father’s Day celebration, and we’ll probably play some games after lunch. Then Sunday, the actual day for Father’s Day, C, S, and I will just chill at the house, after our worship gathering.

We watched the first episode of “The Handmaid’s Tale” on Hulu last night. I’m about three-fourths of the way through the book and have really enjoyed it. But the TV show has skipped ahead in some places, so I don’t want to watch any more until I’m done with the book. For example, at the very end of episode one, the main character tells us her real name. I don’t know that yet, and I’m 76% through with the book!! They should have warned us about potential spoilers!

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL AND PRAYERS
All Scriptures are from the ESV unless otherwise noted

(From The Divine Hours)

Come and see what God has done: he is awesome in his deeds toward the children of man.
Psalm 66:5
Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love, that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.
Psalm 90:14
Save us, O LORD our God, and gather us from among the nations, that we may give thanks to your holy name and glory in your praise.
Psalm 106:47
Steadfast love and faithfulness meet; righteousness and peace kiss each other.
Psalm 85:10
Jesus said, “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. 
If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. 
These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full. 
This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. 
Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.”

John 15:9-13
The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple; 
the precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes; 
the fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever; the rules of the LORD are true, and righteous altogether. 
More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb. 
Moreover, by them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward.

Psalm 19:7-11
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.

(From Practice Resurrection)

At the end of the portion that I read yesterday, Eugene Peterson coins a term for what he is talking about. “Theological aesthetics.” The reason for this is that he has grouped three things together in this process; Truth, Goodness, and Beauty. Most people in the American church are all about truth. A large number also try to included goodness. But beauty seems to consistently get left behind. “We delegate Beauty to flower arrangements and interior decorators,” says Peterson. Plato called these three things “universals,” and insisted that they are all “organically connected.” Says Peterson, “Truth divorced from Beauty becomes abstract and bloodless. Goodness divorced from Beauty becomes loveless and graceless.” Hence his term, “theological aesthetics.”

he has spent most of his adult life protesting the marginalization of these things in the American church. He has not exactly been ignored, but still has not had much success. He seems to get treated with condescension. He gets told by pastors that they can’t make it with an agenda like this. “People won’t put up with it.” Recently, he was told by a pastor “who has made an art form of pole vaulting from church to church” that he was wasting his time because there was no challenge to this, and that “it was about as exciting as standing around watching paint dry.”

Says Peterson, “I suggested to him that most of our ancestors in both Israel and church have spent most of their time watching the paint dry, that the persevering, patient, unhurried work of growing up in Christ has occupied the center of the church’s life for centuries, and that this American marginalization is, well, American. He dismissed me. He needed, he said, a challenge. I took it from his tone and manner that a challenge was by definition something that could be met and accomplished in forty days. That’s all the time, after all, that it took Jesus.”

And therein lies one of the biggest issues in the American church today. We’re in a hurry. We feel like we have to be accomplishing things that are quick, visible, and noticeable. We want results, and we want them now. Concentrating on new converts instead of spiritual growth gives that sense of accomplishment. This also hearkens to one of Dallas Willard’s key statements: “Ruthlessly eliminate hurry from your life.”

Perhaps we could all do with a little more watching the paint dry.

Father, help me to continue to mover more toward this unhurried point of view, of “watching the paint dry,” when it comes to spiritual formation. There’s no hurry. Why would there be a need for hurry? While it may not be true that “slow and steady wins the race” (“slow” never won any “race”), it is true that steadiness and consistency produce great results in pretty much anything. Help me to be steady and consistent in my spiritual formation. May my walk with you be steadfast and unhurried, but straight and true. Teach me your ways that I may walk in your truth.
Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer. 
Psalm 19:14

Grace and peace, friends.

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