Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies. Philippians 4:8-9 (The Message)
I woke up this morning with Katy Perry’s “Teenage Dream” stuck in my head. I truly hate that song. I find it to be disgusting and objectifying and not at all in line with any principal that I have or value. However, it has a catchy melody. And my brain tends to pick up catchy melodies. Needless to say, I was irritated.
I often wake up with songs running through my head. Usually it’s a hymn or a contemporary Christian song. I’ve always seen it as God’s little wake-up gift. So, the fact that it was Katy Perry and not Fanny Crosby was a wake-up call to the fact that I have not been completely “on-track” with my spiritual disciplines. My head has been in all sorts of places–thoughts pinging around in neurospace like my brain is some giant pinball machine. I haven’t taken the time to center myself in God’s Word, and my subconscious song-selection this morning was a stark illustration of that for me.
And so, I grabbed my Bible this morning, in the midst of making coffee and breakfast and helping my first grader decide what to wear on Dress Like a Superhero Day since Captain Underpants was not exactly on the approved outfit list. I took a moment (really, just a moment) to tune out the ample amount of noise around me and to bury my head (soul and heart) into the Word. It’s amazing to me how just the act of opening my Bible can bring me so much peace. The second my hand brushes over the soft, thin, slightly indented paper that makes the most wonderful crinkly noise when I flip the pages, a mental memory is triggered and I find myself falling into the center of my being. It doesn’t matter that I was reading about God’s judgements against the entire Arabian peninsula in the book of Isaiah. I was there, in God’s Word, centered in His Spirit. I didn’t need the words today, I just needed the Presence.
I needed to remember my place of being. I needed to remember that when I find my place in the center of God’s presence, then the rest of the pieces of my day fall in their appropriate spheres around that center.
I think our lives are more circular than linear. God is the core, the center, from which bands or rings fan out, all held together and in perfect place by Him. And so, when I’m out running around through the outer rim and not sitting in the center with God, things tend to seem a bit out of whack. Priorities shift. Problems seem bigger. Understanding seems elusive. And I get trapped in my head.
There is such an inexplicable freedom that comes from time spent in God’s Word. And it doesn’t have to be a full-blown, time consuming, intensified Bible study curriculum. It’s simply us, stilling ourselves right where we are to sit a few moments before the throne of our Creator. It’s us, warts and all, acknowledging that we can’t keep it all together, but that we can fully trust the One who does.
After I spent a few minutes hovering over the pages of Scripture, my song track changed. I’m now humming Hawk Nelson’s, “Words” as I bounce around our elementary school preparing for parent/teacher conferences. And I think, how much more appropriate and meaningful to my day this song is than the one I started with. God is so very good.
Blessings and Peace,