TOBI BENTON

Beauty 29/365 – 2016

Beauty 29/365 – 2016

Beauty 29/365 – 2016

dance1I pour out my complaint before him; before him I tell my trouble.  Psalm 142:2

I’m one day of reading away from completing this first month of praying through the book of Psalms.

One day away, delayed once more in my start time this morning because I awoke again tired from sleeping poorly and too fuzzy-brained to fix my mind on anything.
It’s at this point I stay nestled under the covers and run through what is becoming a routine on my phone.

Check FB notifications.
Play my turn against Ken and Thom, my two Words with Friends challengers.
Check the weather.
Check/edit podcast downloads.
Check email.
Today I also checked if our end-of-month pay deposit had hit the account yet.

I just deleted the word “sadly” from “what is becoming routine on my phone.”

Because I don’t know if it’s sad that I spent my first 30 minutes this way or not.
The “Others” – fellow Christians who earnestly seek to always walk with reverence and dignity under that title – confuse me into struggling against yet another guilt siege.
When I read the first two verses of today’s readings, about pouring out my complaint before God, I scribbled quickly, “who/what do I complain about?”

I am a rich woman, living in security, comfort, and love. Who do I complain about? Myself.

Maybe it’s the isolation I live in here, with no real community other than our intimate four.

It’s very much the lack of opportunity to regularly worship with others.
But I have grown quite weary of evaluating and critiquing myself.

I trust God.

I live openly before him, and typically struggle with finding his clarity over my life only when trying to sift through the thousands of Christian voices that insist there is a “right” way to be with him in relationship.

I’m not afraid to be weary before him. To fail before him. To be desolate at times before him. I try my best not to think I have no right to sadness when I live this life of comfort.

I’m not afraid to be joyful before him. To respond to beauty in my life. To celebrate love and laughter, and enjoy all the people he continues to bring into my days.

I am not afraid to be alive before God.

And to let him take care of me, instead of me trying to take care of him. I’ll treat God as God, thank you very much.

Worship is the strategy by which we interrupt our preoccupation with ourselves and attend to the presence of God.      Eugene Peterson, “Leap Over the Wall”

That’s what I want more of. Less of me, more of the presence of God. I’ll be moving my focus from prayer to worship in February. I’m grateful for the distraction from myself.

David and the whole house of Israel were celebrating with all their might before the LORD…   2 Sam 6:5

 

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