March 7, 2012

March 7: Too busy to dwell

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By Quinn Brenneke, junior business and public relations double major from Fort Wayne, Ind.
SCRIPTURE: Psalm 19 (NRSV)
Scroll down for complete Scripture.
DEVOTIONAL:

Life is crazy, and I’m told that it only gets crazier. Running from class to class and prioritizing group meetings, assignments and projects are only part of a student’s busy life – let alone socializing and fulfilling the promise that “tomorrow, I will go to the gym.” Knowing that work life and family life will be just as demanding is almost as overwhelming as it is exciting. At times, I feel trapped under the busyness of the everyday. It is enough to make me wonder if I’m missing something.

In Psalm 19, David chooses a peculiar subject for a love song. His eloquent words make it hard to believe that he is actually talking about the law of the Lord rather than a person. Unlike David, I am not usually inclined to write endearing poetry about something that sometimes makes me feel enslaved. Laws give me limitations, telling me what I am doing wrong. The last thing I consider when I think about laws is how they give me freedom.

David must have gotten what I missed. The law that he describes reveals God’s love for humanity. It is clear and simple, allowing those who follow it to receive the freedom of a pure heart. Too often, I let my circumstances dictate how I feel. Allowing my to-do list to distract my thoughts keeps me from truly being free to dwell in God’s love. Even when you are too busy to notice, God is asking you to give him your heart and in doing so, he will set you free.

SCRIPTURE: Psalm 19 (NRSV)
1 The heavens are telling the glory of God; and the firmament proclaims his handiwork. 2 Day to day pours forth speech, and night to night declares knowledge. 3 There is no speech, nor are there words; their voice is not heard; 4 yet their voice goes out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In the heavens he has set a tent for the sun, 5 which comes out like a bridegroom from his wedding canopy, and like a strong man runs its course with joy. 6 Its rising is from the end of the heavens, and its circuit to the end of them; and nothing is hid from its heat. 7 The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul; the decrees of the Lord are sure, making wise the simple; 8 the precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is clear, enlightening the eyes; 9 the fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever; the ordinances of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. 10 More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey, and drippings of the honeycomb. 11 Moreover by them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward. 12 But who can detect their errors? Clear me from hidden faults. 13 Keep back your servant also from the insolent; do not let them have dominion over me. Then I shall be blameless, and innocent of great transgression. 14 Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.

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Comments (14)

  1. Thank you for the reminder to again give my heart in the midst of a “busy” life.

    dianne March 7, 2012 |
  2. Quinn, Excellent exposition on the grace embedded in ‘boundaries’ (law) to our harried existence, more precious than gold, says the Pslamist. Let’s see, gold is now at $1682 an oz., not a bad investment of the heart and soul. Thank you for starting my day aright.

    Jim Brenneman, GC President March 7, 2012 |
  3. Thank you for the reminder that I need daily-to NOT let my circumstances dictate how I feel but continue to live within the “law of the Lord” and really DESIRE that daily.

    Betty March 7, 2012 |
  4. Quinn, thanks for the reminder to “live in the present moment” and open up space to see and hear God. A good reminder, too, that life is only as crazy as we let it get!

    Betty S. March 7, 2012 |
  5. Quinn, you have the gift of bringing words together that made me ‘think.’ I memorized this Psalm many years ago and you have challenged me to re-memorize it as my prayer today. Thank You.

    Mary K. March 7, 2012 |
  6. Wow, and a child shall lead them. I have been in the Word for 50 years and never meditated on Psalm 19. I too am a daily “to do list” person and now I will be a Psalm 19-Freedom Woman.

    Josephine March 7, 2012 |
  7. Thanks, Quinn for your thoughts. As a recovering “legalist” I’m also finding the joy, peace and fulfillment in God’s perfect law of love, which I love to dig deeper into each Lenten season. thanks for being a light on the journey.

    Diana March 7, 2012 |
  8. Twice a year these jewels show up on my computer screen. I don’t know how it happens. I just know I am incredibly blessed to be receiving them. I am grateful and in awe of the beauty and the joy they impart. I wish all of my grown grandchildren could read today’s lesson (Psalm 19) and commentary.

    Joanne March 7, 2012 |
  9. Quinn, I’m so glad I stopped to take the time to read your contribution this morning! What a wonderful reminder that God gives us boundaries to keep us safe and to free us from the stress of navigating without them. Blessings for the journey!

    Lois Martin March 7, 2012 |
  10. Thank you for your encouraging and uplifting thoughts; they are perfect for the busy “Martha” that I am. I caused me to slow down, read the whole psalm twice and just sit. Very unusual for me — Thanks for the blessing.

    Ally Goodwin March 7, 2012 |
  11. Quinn, your devotional speaks right to where I am right now. I, too, am a busy student who finds it hard to fulfill all my obligations, let alone take time really to take care of myself. However, this Psalm you wrote about holds me accountable for that. I think it might be time for me to stop “doing” and start doing a little dwelling.

    Elizabeth S.O. March 8, 2012 |
  12. Quinn,
    I really appreciate how elegantly you related David’s reverence for God’s Law to the need for order and boundaries in our ordinary and too-busy lives. Your commentary spoke to my own experience and brought scripture into clearer focus for me. Thank you!

    Mary Biddle March 9, 2012 |
  13. Thanks for reminding us that when we are drowning in our “busy”ness, the Law of the LORD is the lighthouse that leads to safety, security, productivity, and rest. Psalm 1 declares that it is by meditation(on God’s Word), not action, that we find success in all we do.

    Greta March 9, 2012 |
  14. Thanks; I like the tone of your commentary. The ‘law,’ for instance, sabbath, it seems to me, is a gift and source of joy.

    Jon Byler March 10, 2012 |