For whatever reason, time is a really big deal to me. How I use it or the people it is filled with, it's a big deal because there is only so much of it and deep in my heart I desire to be a good steward of this gift called time.
As a result, tangible gifts from me will be haphazard, at best. When I am out and about, if I see something which reminds me of you, two things may occur. If I have money in the budget, I'll buy it for you because it may bring a smile to your face. However, if it's something I can make, I'd rather spend the time using my hands to create it for you, one because it's therapeutic to use my hands, and two, I'm a bit old fashioned. Homemade gifts are timeless and remind me of a more simple way of living. The second thing which may occur is not a purchase at all, but some time spent thinking about you, because a particular thing or place reminded me of you. I'll talk to the Creator of the Universe who knows you better than I do, and I'll ask Him to bless your heart, fill you with His Spirit, spend a bit of time, honored to know you, humbled to communicate with our loving God who made you on purpose, because He loves you and has a plan for your life.
In my life, time can equal love and goodness, or it may equal angst and contempt, depending on the people who fill it, the circumstances surrounding time spent, and how my heart is rooted in God's love to filter it either way.
So, as you know, along with a group of women all over the country who joined me randomly via Facebook, I am reading the Bible cover to cover in 90 days. I don't say this because I think I'm all that and a bag of chips. I'm just saying it. It's what I've chosen to do with a good chunk of time most every day for the next 90 days or as long as it takes.
And let me just say, all at once, this time has been a real pain in the ass and completely beautiful.
In 26 years of Bible reading, I've never read it cover to cover, beginning to end. I've read the New Testament dozens of times, studied it, marked it up, some books more than others, some chapters over and over and over. As far as the Old Testament goes, I've spent time in every book, studying some stories or books more than others, but admittedly, skipping over names and lineages of names I can't pronounce. I've also knowingly skimmed and brushed over the wars and fighting, the doom and gloom, the bloodshed and some of the prophecies of time here or in the future, all of which is in God's hands and line of sight, not really wanting to get swept away with all the, "What if's?"
Really, cherry picking, if you will, choosing to spend time reading the words which challenge me and fill my heart.
But in reading cover to cover, in a concentrated amount of time, there is no such luxury. As far as it being a pain in the ass, I read the Laws and literally cry out to God, "Really?! Are You serious?! I'd rather spend time reading something sweet and lovely, Lord!!!" And then the bloodshed and massacres, wars and looting, rape, incest, murder and deceit...I am grateful to know there is more to the Story. More to come. Time not yet fulfilled. I am torn because we are appalled at modern day atrocities, yet they aren't modern but a continuation of a world lost without God leading the way in the day to day, in countries and communities, tribes and families, individual hearts.
|"True Love" Tattoo brooch by Zoe Larkins, Etsy shop owner.|
However, there is where the beauty lies. As I sit with these heart-wrenching stories, dredge through lineages and unnecessary gore, anticipating what I know is a True Love Story, realizing the ground work of what I am reading is a picture of WHY Jesus came in the first place, I'm reminded of His words and instructions which I have known not only for 26 years, but since I was a little child, at night, before bedtime...one day at a time, Your Kingdom come, Your will be done...
And somehow this time spent filling my head and heart with pictures of historical mayhem and the future not yet revealed has also filled my spirit with interface time with the God of the Universe who loves all of us and sees a bigger picture which has good in store.
Even in wrestling with the difficult questions, I'm wrestling with the Divine. The very thought of which is beautiful.
Time well spent.