“And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by” (John Masefield)
Before the age of GPS, before the time when man-made satellites joined the stars in the sky as tools for navigation, sailors sailed the sea guided by the stars – celestial navigation. They used the position of the fixed stars as their guide. The stars were their constant in the changing seas.
God is our constant. He is steadfast and unchanging. No matter what we have to face each day, or what uncertainties lie ahead, God is there with His mercy and His love. As constant as the Northern Star is our God. There to guide us, love us and bring new mercies and grace into every new day.
“Haal-e shoma chetoreh?”
In Persian one asks another “Haal-e shoma chetoreh?” It’s like our version of “how are you doing?” In fact it’s better than that. Translated, it is actually asking about the transient state of one’s heart. In other words “how is your heart doing at this very moment, at this breath?”
How is your heart doing? Is it overwhelmed? Maybe your heart is full of joy? Of hope and expectation? Perhaps feeling weary? Maybe you are like the tribe in South America that went on a long march lasting days. All of a sudden they would cease their walking and rest, explaining that they needed this time of rest so that their soul could catch up with them.
We see too in Psalm 42 that King David enquired after the state of his own heart. He asks where his peace, his quiet has gone.
“Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me?” (Psalm 42:5)
He then speaks to his heart with faith, with hope in God.
“Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Saviour and my God.” (Psalm 42:5)
If your heart is not doing well there is no better place to be than in the presence of God, in the hope of God, in the love and in the safety of God.
“When my heart is overwhelmed lead me to the Rock that is higher than I.” (Psalm 61:2)
Why would I fear the future? For I am being pursued only by your goodness and unfailing love.
(Psalm 23:6 Passion Translation)
Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Saviour
Trust without borders. Dare we? Dare we remove the limits to our faith? Those safeguards that lie at our faith’s edge? Dare we declare to God for Him to take us deeper than before?
We all have those borders – those places of security. Our health, relationships, our financial provision, our job security, our reputation, our identity. Without borders is putting that on the line. It is saying I will trust you to what you call me to, to what ever happens, I will trust.
It sounds scary to live a life without limits. But actually trusting in God is what makes us appear brave on the outside. It’s when we choose to ignore what our circumstances are telling us. It’s when despite the reality around us we choose to step out of the boat to what God has called us to. We choose to trust Him. To seek Him in the deepest waters, to seek Him in the mystery .
It means that there is nothing that will halt our faith. Nothing that puts limits on our trust in God.
You call me out upon the waters
The great unknown where feet may fail
And there I find You in the mystery
In oceans deep
My faith will stand
I am sure that with the debut of the texting and twittering, punctuation received a hammering. With character spaces being at a premium the use of full stops and commas would have dropped, save for the use of colon and the bracket combined to make the smiley face of course. I’m amazed that this combination is an acceptable use in work correspondence. Nonetheless, correctly used punctuation enhances the sentence, the paragraph and the stories that we write. It communicates a pause, excitement and endings.
There are lessons we can learn from punctuation. Lessons that we can apply to our lives.
The Comma – It’s the pause. It’s the breather in a sentence. In the flow of life, in the busyness of life, it is important to push pause. Take a breath. Pause for a moment. The comma improves the quality of a sentence. The pause improves the quality of our daily lives.
The Full Stop – It’s the ending. The completion of an idea or thought of a sentence. It’s the demarcation between one thought and the next new one. Sometimes, things in our lives require that full stop. Bad habits, wrong thinking or wrong relationships need that full stop. They need that ending so that a new habit, thought pattern or relationship can begin. Some things require a full stop because they have, well, ended. Nothing more to be said, nothing more to be done, but to move onto the next new thing.
The Exclamation Mark – It’s the shout of the written word. It’s the emphatic declaration that what has been written is to be noticed. In our lives, the exclamation mark is the celebration of life, the celebration of achievements – big or small. It’s the wow in our lives. We need to celebrate the good things, the things done well, in our own lives and in the lives of those around us. Lost some weight? Let’s celebrate! The laundry is up to date?! Let’s celebrate! Your work budget is done? Time to celebrate! When we celebrate things in the every day we make life more enjoyable. Don’t save your exclamation marks for just the big events of life. Use them everyday. There’s something in everyday to be celebrated.
Put some punctuation in your life today!