I will sing of loyalty and of justice; to you, O Lord, I will sing. I will study the way that is blameless. When shall I attain it? I will walk with integrity of heart within my house. I will not set before my eyes anything that is base. I hate the work of those who fall away; it shall not cling to me. Perverseness of heart shall be far from me; I will know nothing of evil. (Psalm 101:1-4)
Thought for the day:
I spent a beautiful Friday afternoon packing the trailer for the Family Autism Retreat. While I love the retreat, and I don’t really mind packing, this job had been put off until the last minute. I just never quite got around to it, if you know what I mean. There was always something a little more important to do.
So when the morning of the retreat came around, I finally decided that “today was the day” to “git’r done.” It wasn’t a decision I made with anticipation and excitement but with an “ok, let’s get it over with” attitude.
Now don’t get me wrong, the work wasn’t difficult and it didn’t take that long, and I love the challenge. There is nothing quite like finding a way to fit more stuff into a small space than the space should be able to allow. I just wasn’t into it at the moment.
Maybe you can relate. There are all kinds of things we approach with an “Ok, let’s get it over with!” attitude… Sometimes, it is that attitude that we bring to family time, other times we bring it to the workplace, occasionally we may even bring it to church.
It isn’t that we mind spending time on our knees, or even spending time with God. But are we coming before God with anticipation and excitement or an “Ok, let’s get it over with!” attitude?
Do you remember when Ezra says: “For we are slaves; yet our God has not forsaken us in our slavery, but has extended to us his steadfast love before the kings of Persia, to give us new life to set up the house of our God, to repair its ruins, and to give us a wall in Judea and Jerusalem.” (Ezra 9:9)
Ezra suffered the deep sense of emergency, he was overwhelmed by Israel’s sin, and their disregard for God’s displeasure in it. When God had begun to show Israel forgiveness, instead of rejoicing, they sinned even more.
Like a tightly packed trailer, it is possible for us to hide our sin in the crevices of life so that we look organized and together. We know, however, that our sin is still there, covered, hidden. We may look good on the outside but we are just as battered and worn and ugly as before. Slaves, if you will, to sin and death.
But God, in his steadfast love, does not forsake us. God, in his infinite wisdom, doesn’t simply cover our sin, he forgives it. Ezra reminds us that God “repairs our ruins.” With the help of divine grace, our lives are rebuilt when we repent and the fruits of our repentance are apparent to all.
I will sing of loyalty and of justice; to you, O Lord, I will sing.
I will study the way that is blameless. When shall I attain it?
I will walk with integrity of heart within my house;
I will not set before my eyes anything that is base.
I hate the work of those who fall away; it shall not cling to me.
Perverseness of heart shall be far from me; I will know nothing of evil.
- Psalm 101:1-4
Prayer for the day:
Precious Lord, repair the ruins of my life. Forgive my sin, remove it from me as far as the west is from the east! Empower me to be blameless in Your presence, not because of my strength but by Yours. Amen.