hobbits and holy ground...

You know that scene in The Hobbit movie where the dwarves, and Bilbo, are wandering through the darkened Mirkwood forest?  As they all start to get more lost - from the path - and from their own senses, Bilbo climbs the tree to get his bearings.  It's a glorious scene as he lifts his head above the tree tops... sees the butterflies soaring, the sun shining... and clears his perspective with the fresh air.
I often feel the same way when I read the Bible.
It's like coming up for air.
It clears my senses.

It's like I've been drowning in a distracted fog beforehand.
Wandering off the path.
Confused by all the voices.

The Bible wakes me up.
The Bible shakes me up.
It's a defibrillator for my heart.

Reading Psalm 119.
"Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law".
The Psalmist was besotted with God's Word.

When the world seems upside down.
God's Word provides the bearings.
He is the Anchor.

Daily I need to lift my head above the enchanted forest.
The Bible is the filter through which I see.
I see the Son shining in all His glory.


the tragic, and the triumphant song.

My heart is a jukebox of sin.
Most days I stay busy enough, distracted enough, to not hear the music playing.
But, when I slow down… I find the volume goes up.
You know when – and where – I hear it the loudest?
As I’m standing at the sink full of dirty dishes.
But this is not a dance floor I find myself on, it’s a battleground.

Now, maybe for you it’s during the long commute home, or while you  stand in the shower, or when you can’t drift off to sleep.  But for me, when I am stuck at that sink, washing dish after dish… the music begins.
Now, I suffer from two tracts, set to repeat.

The first is prides’ song.  Cue: “You’re simply the best.. dun, dun, dun.. better than allll the rest”.  This is where my mind wanders to all the wonderful things I have said or done for others that day.  Really, I’d pat myself on the back if it wasn’t so sudsy from the dishes.  It’s here that I also start to envision myself as a really mama ‘martyr’ for how selflessly I give.give.give all the day long.  And as I lift another dish from the tepid waters, and feel the weariness of my limbs... I start to drone: “Nobody knows the trouble I’ve seen…”
Suddenly this  jukebox heart shifts.  I skip a beat.  Just enough of an interruption to gain clarity and perspective on how inward and prideful my thoughts are vortexing.

Cue the second main tract:  Shut up, just shut up, shut up.  Shut up, just shut up, shut up”!
(No, really.  If you were standing in the kitchen you can hear me say it out loud even).

Because so often lately, and more quickly, lately… I am so over hearing about ME.  So done, with stroking this viper of pride in my heart and thinking it’s a pet.  Be killing sin, or it will be killing you’ it’s said.  So I get out a mallet, and smash the jukebox with an angry “Awwww shaddup!”.
Go figure, it doesn’t help for long.
Turns out that just trying to will myself to not think about something doesn’t work.
I can’t just not think about something I’m  trying to not think about… because it leaves a vacuum.
I need a new song.
What is otherwise called – the ‘expulsive power of a new affection’.
For me, this is the moment I start to sing hymns.  Songs of praise and worship to the One who saved me from myself, from my sins.  The more I love Jesus, the better this jukebox plays a song worth singing.
Some days (some moments) the old tunes  still taunt.
But, as Odysseus tied himself to the mast, to avoid turning his ship to the enticing destruction of the siren’s songs…  I tie myself to the cross.  I cling to the cross of Christ.  Despite the siren song of pride in my own chest, that would rather exult myself than another, I cling to the cross… and sing:

"O to grace how great a debtor
Daily I’m constrained to be!
Let Thy goodness, like a fetter,
Bind my wandering heart to Thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love;
Here’s my heart, O take and seal it,
Seal it for Thy courts above"
-Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing-
Mel ;o)