Sunday, October 7, 2007

Putting First Things First

When I find something that I super like, I just keep doing it over and over. If it's listening to Paul Baloche's "What Can I Say?" or Chris Tomlin's whole album See The Morning, I'll listen over and over and over. I found a new thing this weekend that I probably did more than 25 times...even closer to 50 times. I ran through a seven foot tall tunnel. It was a quite quiet old galvanized steel foot tunnel that brought you under a well traveled road.
I kept running through this dimly lit tunnel over and over and over again. I'd run through and ask my God to meet me and He would.
I'd run through and pray for my friends like you. I'd run through and listen to my God. Sssshhh. I'd run through and tell Him how marvelous He is. I'd run through and pray for whomever He laid on my heart. I'd run through and listen back. I'd run through and get real quiet in my heart. I'd run through and pray out loud with a reverberating voice. I'd run through and listen to His Word. I'd run through and listen to "You Dance Over Me" over and over. I'd run through and stand still. And I came back the next day and did it all over again. I found my tiny tunnel stretching over twenty yards or so while Britt and I were at a USA swim meet this weekend in an unfamiliar place to me. These swim meets last the whole day to swim 3 events that last only a couple of minutes or sometimes sixty seconds so spectators have a lot of free time. Tunnel time.

The tunnel was a pipe of steel material arranged in uniformed ridges and each ripple was bolted down twelve times. Arranged perfectly to accommodate serious runners and not-so-serious joggers. There was that word popping up again---arranged---I have been thinking about that word for two weeks after a conversation with a friend who told me that my God will give me new friends, new travelers of the heart, but it won't be as arrangeable as it has been in the past which wasn't really arrangeable anyway. What kept coming to my mind is this...sometimes, even unaware, I am trying to arrange my friendships, arrange better circumstances, arrange my day to get better results, arrange my life to make it better, arrange ministry success...all the while my God is saying "Seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness and all these things will be given to you as well." Matthew 6:33 I wonder if that verse is what inspired C.S. Lewis to write: "You can't get second things by putting them first; you can get second things only by putting first things first."

I don't want to live in control of my family, my friends, my ministry, my money, even my Maker. As if I really think that I am in control of my life. I long to get in on what my beautiful God is arranging in my life. I long to live my life under the control of the One who is arranging all things for His Glory.


8 comments:

Josh 10/08/2007  

G'morning, Bev. I'm sure your weekend was as blessed as mine! I love that cd! Just like you, I could listen to it over and over again. Take care!

Hendrick Family 10/08/2007  

This is beautiful. Thank you for praying for me in the tunnel.

No more arranging. I want to stop that too.

Heather

Lindsee 10/08/2007  

I so wish I could go somewhere with you this weekend...but, low and behold, our phi lamb retreat is this weekend! :)

Where are y'all going to hear Beth? Is she gonna be in Texas? Let me know and I'll see what I can do!!! ;)

And, once again, thank you for your sweet, sweet comment!! :)

CrownLaidDown 10/08/2007  

Where is this tunnel and can I get one brought here? That sounds like not only a fun time praising and praying, but a time that God hedged out and arranged for you, Bev!

Only He can coordinate and make our paths straight...our families, our friendships, our churches, our hearts.

Boy I am so very excited....really, really excited! I hope I can sit still on the plane!
Love ya Friend!
Holly

Abby 10/08/2007  

where is beth going to be this weekend!!?!?! am ps...i am jealous! :)...that tunnel experience sounds amazing!...wish we had one of those around here...what a sweet find!

thanks for the prayers...i have had the BEST last few days...more on that later...

i live in nashville, tn but i actually will be on the coast of nc doing a retreat this coming weekend at a camp that i've worked at for the last 4 summers. my brother and sister-in-law live there, so it will be great to get to see them, and sing, and teach bible study! speaking of..i need to work on that..

hope you're doing great!! :)

Abby 10/08/2007  

ps...just saw on lindsee's page where you are going to see beth!!...if you get to talk to her give her a hug from the rest of the blog siestas!!
...and tell her that kathy johnson's best friend abby says hello!! (she is also kathy johnson's best friend!!)

-->you can check one of my posts a few days down to see a picture of her (kathy) and my birthday post for her!! :)

Jackie 10/08/2007  

oh, that would be cool if i could find you in the sea of women...half the time i can't find the people i know that are there!!! I am usually towards the front and kind off off to the left of the stage (if you're looking at it) about the 5-8 row or somewhere around there- have NO CLUE what i'll where, usually figure that out as i am walking out the door, but i am tall with short brown hair...look for me too!! :)

Shonda 10/08/2007  

Bev,
Thank you for the word you shared with me on the blog on Saturday. It meant so much!

I was just having a conversation with the Lord as I made the bed today and I was telling Him how I had a situation all figured out. But by the time the bed was made, I looked at it and laughed. Because then I knew if I think I have it figured out, it wont work out that way that I have it in my mind. His ways are higher than may ways and I have to trust HIM! I feel out of control, but that allows Him to be in control. Oh Yes, He's rearranging the familiar in my life. Thanks for sharing this. I'm not alone in this endeavor.

Blessings in Christ--

Praying for Our Friend Joanne Psalm 131:3 Waiting on God. Hope Now. Hope Always.

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I've met some amazing women through blogging. I would love to hear from you. My personal e-mail is:
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I have another blog where I blog daily as a small group of us read through the New Testament this year. It's called A String of Pearls. We carry each other on mats (when we just can't walk anymore) to Jesus and sweet things like that.

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