[My grandfather] had a lovely tenor voice and was often asked to sing. Everyone’s favorite was an old song about heaven called, “Sitting in White” which depicts the eternal scene of worship at the throne of God. He usually finished the song with a catch in his voice and eyes bright with tears. The last time I heard him sing it was just a year before he died. At the end of the song he said, “Won’t it be wonderful when we know we’ve finally made it?”
from Perennial: meditations for the seasons of life
by Twila Paris (page 50)
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I found a little devotional written by Twila Paris tucked into the corner of the shelf at the local library used book sale. It looked unopened, never used. It partnered with a cd of perennial favorites that I own and enjoy using to shape the contemplative moments in my day. I carried this little book home for a mere 50 cents and added it to my basket containing Bible, books, journal, pens, and stationery. This basket nestles close to my favorite chair, just a short reach from my lap. I may find myself here once a day or several times, but always I find a peaceful pause, a place to peruse or ponder; a punctuation in my busy day that finds me at the feet of my Lord just when I need a bit of refreshment.
Daily life has encompassed many schedules throughout my years as child, student, employee, wife, and mom. Each new phase required a bit of shift in priority and layout in order to keep my heart refreshed while meeting the needs of all in my care. I learned a looooong time ago that a day begun kneeling before my Lord contained seeds of greatness and fulfillment; a day that rushed past my starting pause, yielded more exhaustion than I had hoped to carry. And so, I begin my days with a quick peruse of the news and blogland, from which I tote away a bevy of thoughts, ideas, needs, and requests. I then make my way to the kitchen to create a bit of breakfast and a pot of tea. Next I settle into my favorite chair with a tray at hand and a view of the majestic trees and brilliant sky, often painted with hues of storms or sunny rays. The beauty lifts my heart in a prayer. I simply sit and listen as sweet music fills the air, or in warmer days slide open the patio door and listen to the laughing fountains and singing birds at play in my gardens -- God’s gift to me in remembrance of Eden and better times.
Some days I dig deep into a weighty passage of scripture, others find me pouring my aching heart out in Psalms, still other moments find me speechless in wonder-filled awe that I am alive -- right here, right now, just as I am. A variety of authors joins me in this quiet moment as ideas float and sift through my sieve of life. My perspective changes with the times and maturity, but merely serves to enhance my quest for truth . . . immovable truth. I often find humor in this special space of time, such as running across this verse today: “Strengthen ye the weak hands, and confirm the feeble knees” (Isaiah 35:3). Truly a timely reading, considering yesterday’s spate in the garden on my knees wrestling with the tenacious tendrils of weedy things in threat to my tidy beds.
Though my day flows in a generally similar pattern from start to finish, I find so many pathways to explore. Some prove a waste of time, others reveal secrets my heart has longed to receive. Regardless of what the day may hold, I cherish my peaceful moments with the Lord in prayer, Word, and silence. The everlasting love promised of old rescues my heart from fears and foibles that I would surely find with only the world as ally. So many hurts and struggles and fears fill the pages of newspapers, blogs, and entertainment modes. Can hope really survive until we know we’ve finally made it?
[She pauses to dip a deep draught of refreshment from her Lord’s proffered spring, knowing the peace which defies explanation but works the miracle every day.]
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And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding,
Shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.