How Did I Get Here?

April 25, 2012 at 11:05 pm (Contentment, Devotional, Philosophy, Religious Commentary, Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , , )

“My people have been lost sheep. Their shepherds have led them astray; They have turned them away on the mountains. They have gone from mountain to hill; They have forgotten their resting place.”
     In the Hebrew, it seems to indicate that the term “resting place” means quite simply, “to rest; place to lie down.” Now that all sounds harmless enough until you’ve accidentally fallen asleep on the bus. Or a train in Austria. Or had to spend the night on the street. If you’ve done those things, perhaps you are better acquainted with the significance of the implications of “resting place.” When you rest you are completely vulnerable. Anything can happen. And how can you stop it? You’re in a REM cycle! It is in sleep that we are the most susceptible to harm. Now that I have sufficiently alarmed you, let me ask:
     Have you ever been there? A place of quiet, calm, true rest and rejuvenation for your soul? But one seemingly random day, you look around and realize that all you once valued to re-gain your strength is far away from you. Mind you, not in a physical distance kind of way, but your heart and mind are in another place entirely. Indeed your whole life seems to have drifted onto another path, one that offers no place of real rest.
     I recently moved to LA (you can follow my observations and explorations on writingsass.com) and I have felt the pull of gradual drifting from rest like never before. Not because I haven’t got as much sleep (though I haven’t), but because there is a pressure in this city to go, to accomplish, to sacrifice much to get ahead. And my soul feels it. This quote is from a passage in Jeremiah, a prophet from the old testament and God describing his people. You can look throughout the Bible and indeed find God’s people described in a like-manner. However the phraseology of this passage struck a chord with me; maybe it’s a warning.
     “They have forgotten their resting place.”
     How easy it is, when we don’t keep God at the center, to drift and one day realize that you are not where you ought to be and you are not the person God intended you to be. Be it passion, career, laziness, relationships and more –> the heart of it all is idolatry. Placing another above God.
     So, good news and bad news! I’m a “bad-news-first” kind of girl, so here it is: you ARE going to wander astray and forget your resting place. That’s just the way it is. It is a commonality in humanity to wander from what is good for us, being drawn like a magnet to that which is like a malignancy in our lives.
     Ready for the good news?: God already knows, has already forgiven and He never fails to welcome his children back. It’s a common theme in the Old Testament (probably because we’re so prone to stray):
  • I have blotted out your transgressions like a cloud and your sins like mist; return to me, for I have redeemed you. – Isaiah 44:22
  • I will give them a heart to know that I am the LORD, and they shall be my people and I will be their God, for they shall return to me with their whole heart. – Jeremiah 24:7
  • They shall not defile themselves anymore with their idols and their detestable things, or with any of their transgressions. But I will save them from all the backslidings in which they have sinned, and will cleanse them; and they shall be my people, and I will be their God. – Ezekiel 37:23
  • Therefore say to them, Thus declares the LORD of hosts: Return to me, says the LORD of hosts, and I will return to you, says the LORD of hosts. – Zechariah 1:3
  • For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my laws into their minds, and write them on their hearts, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. – Hebrews 8:10

What’s the theme? That no matter how severe the transgression, how far the wandering, God’s heart is for his people to return to him.

I say, let’s do one better. Don’t allow yourself the wandering spirit in the first place (I think to some extent, we’ve all got one). Remain in the place of rest, lest you lose your way and precious time with your God.

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