February 18, 2017
John Wesley, the father of Methodism, once declared himself to be a man "of one Book," the Bible. It wasn't exactly true; he was well-read in philosophy, religion, politics, and medicine. But the foundation of all his reading was the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments. All his other studies were ancillary to the Scriptures, which to him, were central to life. I like to read, and am particularly fond of history and biography, but as much as I like these genres, nothing feeds my soul like the Scriptures. They are my guide, my encouragement, my correction, the source of my faith. Sometimes when I read, I come up empty, like letting a bucket down into a dry well. Except that the well isn't dry; the problem is my bucket often has holes in it. But there are those other times when I strike gold. This morning was one of those times.
Most of the time I'm pretty quiet. People who knew me from my life as a pastor often have a hard time believing that. My job required me to use words a lot, but when left to myself, I'm usually pretty quiet, so much so that Linda once quipped that I can't carry on a decent conversation without notes. She's right, of course. Most of the time my inner conversation goes something like, "No one would be interested in my opinion." So I keep quiet. I like quiet.
Unfortunately, that attitude has often crept into my relationship with God. I love music, but rarely have the radio on, and rarely am found singing other than in worship. That may have to change. This morning's reading included this gem: "I will sing aloud of your steadfast love in the morning (Psalm 59:16). Really? Singing in the morning? Aloud? I'm not sure that will bless anyone. Except perhaps God. Maybe lifting up my voice in the morning will help get me started on the right foot. I read my Bible first thing. I offer prayers. But maybe, just maybe, it would please God, perhaps even bless him, to hear my voice proclaiming and thanking him for his steadfast love.
This wasn't written quite as a command, but I'm going to try it. It couldn't hurt, and might just help me be more focused on God. That wouldn't be a bad way to start the morning. Not at all.