Psalm 119:11 Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.
Many have called me a late bloomer. By definition, a “late bloomer” is someone that does not come into his own, either mentally or physically, until after most other peers. For the most part this statement is true about me. The exception in my case, however, is that I’ll never catch up to the stature of and/or be as smart as any of my peers. The truth of the matter is, I have always been and always will be slow on the uptake. For me, it just takes a while for things to sink in. I say this because it’s taken me 52 years to understand this and a few other things about myself. And while I still don’t quite have it all figured out, I have learned more this year than I have in all past years combined. Talk about taking a while for things to sink in…
In today’s world (in today’s church), things move by at such a rapid pace, someone like me has an extra hard time keeping pace with all others, let alone my peers. One example of this is that songs come and go so quickly. They’re introduced one week, sung a few Sundays in a row, limited to every third Sunday for a couple of months, and then discarded only to be resurrected once a year by request on an “Oldies but Goodies” night of worship. The lyrics are shown in HD on a big screen/s over the stage at the front of the church. I guess this is one way to get worshipers to direct their attention upward, toward the One who should be the object of their praises and thanksgiving (a topic for another day). The song is quickly over, and it’s onto the next before one has the opportunity to let its meaning sink in.
I have, just this year, learned to appreciate and understand the value of my Christian heritage, beginning in a little Baptist church in Hayward. It was a church with a simple approach to preaching the Gospel and teaching the basics of living a life using Christ’s as an example. Perhaps this is where I developed my “keep-it-simple-stupid” approach to life (see previous posts). In this church, we used to sing hymns (songs) out of a green (brown and burgundy in later years as the church décor dictated) book entitled “Inspirational Psalms and Hymns”… or something like that. Sunday after Sunday, year after year, we used to sing the same hymns over and over again until we knew all the words of each verse by heart. We even knew what page to turn to by just the mention of the song’s title. And, while I may not have understood their meaning at the time, the lyrics did “sink in”.
One song we used to sing, that I am just now beginning to understand the meaning of, was Day by Day (page 34 of the green hymnal in the back of the pew in front of you). The lyrics based on Psalm 68:19, 2 Corinthians 4:15, Deuteronomy 33:25 and Luke 11:3 are as follows:
- Day by day, and with each passing moment,
Strength I find to meet my trials here;
Trusting in my Father’s wise bestowment,
I’ve no cause for worry or for fear.
He, whose heart is kind beyond all measure,
Gives unto each day what He deems best,
Lovingly its part of pain and pleasure,
Mingling toil with peace and rest.
- Every day the Lord Himself is near me,
With a special mercy for each hour;
All my cares He fain would bear and cheer me,
He whose name is Counselor and Pow’r.
The protection of His child and treasure
Is a charge that on Himself He laid;
“As thy days, thy strength shall be in measure,”
This the pledge to me He made.
- Help me then, in every tribulation,
So to trust Thy promises, O Lord,
That I lose not faith’s sweet consolation,
Offered me within Thy holy Word.
Help me, Lord, when toil and trouble meeting,
E’er to take, as from a father’s hand,
One by one, the days, the moments fleeting,
Till with Christ the Lord I stand.
With a new year upon us, many are making New Year’s resolutions. A New Year’s resolution is a commitment that a person makes to one or more lasting personal goals, projects, or the reforming of a habit. This goal must be reached by the next New Year. My New Year’s resolution this year is to not take an entire year to achieve personal goals, projects, or to reform a habit…or to wait an entire year to make resolutions. My New Year’s resolution is to begin each day with a refreshed attitude, choosing to give the best I am able to offer, to be a better person than I was the previous day, and to disappoint or break as few hearts as possible.
Throughout each day, I will devote my full attention and pour my whole heart into everything I do. I will strive to be viewed as trustworthy in the eyes of my family and friends, lead a successful career that I will enjoy, stay healthy, and courageously face any challenges that come my way. I will work and play where my integrity will not be compromised. When I stumble, I will pick myself up, assess the situation, correct what it was that made me fall, make amends for any damage done, regroup, and forge ahead.
At the end of the day, I will take stock of the day’s activities, reflect on their meaning, and give thanks to God for the blessings of lessons learned and riches earned, and as I sleep, I will dream about the contributions I will make tomorrow and the imprint I will leave behind when I am no longer able to open my eyes. I will simply live Day by Day and with each passing moment. One never knows when the Word that’s been hidden in one’s heart will resurface to shed understanding and bring comfort to a situation…
2011 has been a year of great blessing, revelation and understanding for me and my family. It’s taken me a while (par for the course), but I have learned to appreciate and be grateful for everything (1 Thessalonians 5:18), and to be content in every situation (Philippians 4:12-13). Thank you Lord for sticking with me, and allowing me to learn your ways, albeit slower than most of your children…
The events that happen throughout the moments, days, months and years of our lives are opportunities for the Lord to reveal Himself in a magnificent way.
Jeremiah 29:11 says “ For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Lord, Thank you for EVERYTHING. Please grant me eyes to see, ears to hear and a heart that perceives ALL that you are doing throughout 2012 and beyond. Remind me to take time out of my busy day/s to be attentive to your unfolding plan. Help me to live each moment to its fullest. Praise be to You Forever and Ever!! Amen.
I pray you have all been touched by God in one form or another this year. We have certainly been touched by you all through your love and support in so many ways. May God richly bless you and yours in the coming years…
The Buchanan Family