The Lord is my pace-setter, I shall not rush
He makes me stop and rest for quiet intervals;
He provides me with images of stillness,
Which restore my serenity.
He leasds me in the way of efficiency
through calmness of mind and His guidance is peace.
Even though I have a great many things to accomplish each day.
I will not fret
For His presence is here
His timelessness, His all-importance will keep me in balance.
He prepares refreshment, His all-importance will keep me in balance.
He prepares refreshment and renewal in the midst of activity
by annointing my mind with His oils of tranquility.
My cup of joyous energy overflows.
Surely harmony and effectiveness shall be the fruits of my hours.
I shall walk in the pace of our Lord and dwell in His house forever.
(A paraphrase of Psalm 23 by Japanese Poet Toki Miyashin)
I could hazard a guess that if I were to ask how you were the word “busy” would appear at some point in your answer. It seems to be the default answer nowadays and almost what we are expected to say. Busy means successful and fulfilled right? We wear the “busy” like a badge of honour as if it is something to aspire to. Yet answering “busy” says nothing about our enjoyment of life or even whether we are “achieving” in life! Being busy should not be our identity or goal. If anything it merely suggests an overwhelmed schedule. More often than not the answer “busy” is given with an undertone of tiredness and exhaustion.
In the pace of busyness it is our personal margins of space that are neglected. The time to take a pause, to rest is what is sacrificed and we are easily left overwhelmed, tired and feeling much like we’re only one nostril above water. Yet, in this life where technology keep us continually connected to work and the online world we can find space in the pace. We can find balance within the crazy.
We find it in GRACE. God’s grace.
Grace is an important and powerful spiritual reality. It is a resource that we have unlimited access to through Jesus. God’s grace helps and empowers us through busy seasons of life. In the crazy pace of life God has grace for us. It is fuel, it is a supernatural enabling for us. God’s grace empowers and strengthens us.
“Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4:16)
I’m not sure if it is because the school holidays were derailed somewhat with power outages and chicken pox, but I feel like as a family we’ve erupted with ferocity onto the landscape of the last term of school. At the moment every phone call or email seems to have me adding an extra event to the family calendar. Birthday parties, work functions, school gala days, fireworks nights. All great things, but it makes me feel like I’m starting to hurtle towards the end of the year at such a pace that I might rush past it straight into next year! And somehow I don’t think a strategy of upping my coffee intake is going to suffice. I need a better plan!
Unsurprisingly with these events swirling around my mind I started singing the lyrics to “One day at a time“. It’s a song from my childhood. In the days before youtube, Spotify or iTunes that have you selecting and playing your favourite song within seconds, when it came to listening to your favourite song that you didn’t own on LP, request radio was the way. You’d ring up and request your song and then wait, patiently listening to all the other songs until your song was played. I remember as a 6 or 7 year old my mother coming at getting us at night to gather around the radio to listen to our favourite songs that she’d requested. “One day at a time” was one of these songs. So perhaps due to that special feeling of hearing the song that we’d requested being played that I am still able to remember it today.
One day at a time, sweet Jesus, that’s all I’m asking from You
Give me the strength to do everyday what I have to do
Yesterday’s gone, sweet Jesus, and tomorrow may never be mine
So for my sake, teach me to take one day at a time
Recalling this song at this moment in time is God’s way to giving me the strategy to get through this busy season. To take one day at a time. To tackle what is ahead of me for that one day, to enjoy that one day without worrying about the next day or the day after that. Jesus has given us sufficient grace to get through each day. I need to just look at what is immediately ahead of me and tackle that. Rather like a show jumper – the rider and the horse are only ever focusing on the jump that is in front of them. Worrying about the ones to come could jeopardise the jump right before them and cause them to fall.
‘So don’t be anxious about tomorrow. God will take care of your tomorrow too. Live one day at a time’ (Matthew 6:34).
The calling we have today is not to arrange for strength and mercies for tomorrow. The strength and mercies needed for tomorrow will be provided by God in tomorrow. When the Israelites were in the wilderness they were completely dependent on God for food. And He provided daily – every day. The Manna was enough for that day. If hoarded for the next day it went rotten. Sufficient provision given for each day, every day.
Unseen, prepared mercies and grace will be given to me tomorrow, so today I thank Him for the grace He has given me for today.
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. (Lamentations 3:22-23)