I am behind in my devotional “God Calling” edited by A.J. Russell. The funny thing is the July 20th devotional is was what I needed to think about, August 2nd. All I know is it was something I needed today.
My day started with a headache, achy joints, a cup of coffee, and the title My Standard July 20. Hoo Boy! What 1Standard? Who’s Standard? These were thoughts that ran through my head.
There is a tropical storm about forty miles offshore as I write this afternoon. As you may know, weather can be painful for me. It’s not so much the rain, humidity, or wind, which has topped out at a weak 23 mph. No, it is the pressure changes. Anyway, back to the devotional. Here is what I understood from the Two Listeners:
“Carry out My Commands and leave the result to me. Do this obediently and faithfully as you would expect a child to follow out a given rule in the working of a sum,”
In my heart, I heard Jesus’ words in 2Matthew 18:2-4:
- He called a child over, placed it in their midst, 3. and said, “Amen, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. 4. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”
It seems simple enough. Just listen and follow the instructions. It didn’t work out that way yesterday. As the storm moved closer and a migraine increased, I was more distracted than usual. Every little thing or idea threw me off track. I didn’t get the post drafted or even make dinner. Good thing the guys are just as happy to make their own dinner! My writing suffered too. A measly 177 words on a Saturday! Saturday is my day to sit back and enjoy my dream.
The worst part was I remembered all the little God nudges to do things, like writing. “Wasted! The day is over!” I berated myself yesterday evening. The Holy Spirit comforted me as I asked Jesus for forgiveness. “Get some rest,” whispered in my soul. “You did some of what needed to be done. The day is over.” The migraine subsided and I did as I was told, I went to bed.
Further along in the devotion, this caught my attention:
“Each individual was meant to walk with Me in this way, to act under Divine control, strengthened by Divine power.”
“Have I not taught you to love simplicity? No matter what the world may think, earth’s aims and intrigues are not for you. Oh! My children, learn of me. Simplicity brings rest. True rest and Power.”
“To the world foolishness, maybe, but to Me a foretaste of Divinity. Never be led by the world’s standard. My Standard is only for you.”
Yesterday, I followed the world’s standard. I over-prepared for a storm that barely brushed our town. I got laundry and chores done. We might lose power, you know! Get the stuff out of the yard. Get your supplies and get off the roads!
What was the standard I allowed to distract me from writing and rest? Rules and orders issued for all to follow. I looked back over the last five months and realized I have been following the world’s standard. Whenever I get off the path with my Lord, fear, and anxiety creep into my mind. I stop trusting and listening. Why? Rather than listening for guidance, I jumped into a busy day. I let the “to do” list distract me. Shaking my head, I realize I fell back into being Martha and not Mary again. [Luke 10:38-42]
Today I did better. Not perfect, just better. I stayed on track with what I needed to get done. For example today, rather than doing it all myself, when my dear husband asked if I needed anything while he ran an errand. I said yes and he went to the store for me. With the extra time, I finished a few tasks, ate lunch, and wrote most of this post. Best of all, dinner got made and no one had to scrounge for food this evening.
While I ask for guidance, I found out today I don’t follow it step by step trusting God like a child trusts the formula to work. This will take a little getting used to. During this journey, I have learned to ask and listen. The next step is to follow through on God’s Standard and leave the world’s standard behind.
I pray you are safe from the storms in our lives. I would love to hear how you live God Standard and leave the angst of the world’s standard in the dust!
P.S. Recently I have noticed American English is becoming… How do I say it? I want to use ‘contaminated.’ But that’s not right. Diluted, that’s the word. Our words are becoming diluted with definitions. I end up with my nose in a dictionary, looking up words to see what something means. It is almost like you can pick out the definition you want by using multiple dictionaries. I had that trouble with “standard.” There are bunches of ways to use the word standard. Periodically you may see me put a definition, like this, in the footnotes to clarify my thought process:
1 Standard: Commonly used and accepted as an authority [Webster’s II New College Dictionary Third Edition 2005]
2 Scripture references are from the New American Bible Revised Edition