I do this thing in the morning when getting ready for my work day, where I look out my bathroom door periodically to see what the time is. “My sink” within our double sink counter, is closest to the door. There, I apply my makeup, curl my hair and frequently check the time. The clock is on my dresser, oriented on the corner just so, so I can both see it when I am ignoring it in the morning from under the comforter on my bed, and to pace my timing before work. It’s essential I have the clock. But sometimes I look and don’t see. Sometimes I physically move my body while the curling wand is in my hand, take a glance, see the numbers, return to my reflection in the mirror, and wonder. Wonder again, what time is it?
You see, sometimes, I go through the motions without actually seeing and registering the information the clock is providing. Sometimes I do the same when reading a book, or watching movie. What did I just read? What was that scene about? Sometimes I do the same when I read the Word of God, or when having a conversation with my hubby or girlies. Hold up, why am I signing this permission slip or why did so and so get mad at so and so, again? Wait, did he really just say, “it was a rad day to twerk, slow yolk"? Nope, “I had a bad day at work, no joke.” Although, I wouldn’t put it past my husband to say that, just to see if I was really listening and present with him!
I may be quickly approaching midlife, but I don’t think I have an issue with my brain misfiring and misconnecting. The issue may simply be my mind has one too many thoughts bubbling up from the recept of my thought maker. Or, it may be familiarity and routine hinders my ability to truly see what is right in front of me – be it a clock, scene, time with my family, or sadly, the word of God. It could be, and likely is, there is a need to be more intentional about being present and aware.
This year my husband and I agreed to be more conscious in one another’s presence and with our kiddos. The reality we had just a couple short years with our oldest and only a couple more than that with our youngest, was hitting us hard. Not that we hadn’t years prior, but we wanted to consciously make more moments truly “count”. We determined to both look and see. We resolved to both listen and hear. We set out to be present and go for more quality time. No distractions. No devices. But presence.
The same is true when getting into the Word of God. Oftentimes we can read the Word and not truly see or hear what the Lord is speaking to our hearts. We can quickly glaze over familiar Scripture, because we’ve heard it from the pulpit in a variety sermons. We can say to ourselves, “oh yes, I know that one”, because we repeatedly see it on social media. Or we can read as part of our routine, fill the time slot we’ve allotted, and still miss what the Lord is saying.
Today, I’m encouraging myself, and I would like to encourage you as well, to consciously make more moments with the Lord’s word truly count. It’s not that we haven’t before, but perhaps setting the intention to be present and see and hear His word anew will unlock a breadth and depth like never known. Invite the Holy Spirit into your time in God’s word, before opening your Bible or reading a devotion. Utilize a concordance to break down the words of just one verse. Incorporating this practice over the past eight years has opened God’s word in more ways than I could have expected. Trust me, I had (and still have) a lot of growing in God’s word to do! Exploring with a concordance has literally transformed one verse into an hour long study where the Holy Spirit composed thoughts, revised understanding, and enlightened.
This is the final thought I would like to leave with each of us. The Holy Spirit operating in and through our thoughts opens the word of God, more than Strong’s concordance ever could. My prayer for all of us is to know and understand we have the Spirit of the living God residing within us, as believers in the Savior Jesus Christ. He brings all things from His Spirit, including His word, to life within us. His Spirit helps us to better understand scripture and compose our prayers, as His Spirit leads. Be encouraged today, and increasingly more days hereafter, to spend time in prayer and God’s presence, allowing the Holy Spirit to become a very real Presence, Help, Comfort, Advocate and Teacher. Let’s be intentional about creating more space to increase our sensitivity to His Spirit within, trusting He will expand our understanding of His word as we offer to Him any amount of time we may have.
Then, may we look and see what the Lord is sharing, listen and hear what He is speaking, look and see someone’s joy or frustration, listen and hear the pain and uncertainty in the voice and words of others. May we be intentionally present in all we do. Lord help us to both look and see.