When I get in the car, it’s not usually just so I can park.
And I don’t much enjoy driving around for the scenery.
I drive for one reason. One only: To get somewhere.
If I happen to notice something along the way, then we count that a bonus.
Half the fun is never getting there. All the fun is being there.
Most times, when God and I are driving along in the Word and we slam on the brakes and swerve off the road, it’s because something fell in front of the car. Stopping isn’t the plan, but shoot. Some days I just can’t turn the page.
My extended stays usually happen on their own. But this time, I threw up the barricade in the road myself, and pulled over on purpose. Stopping the car was the antidote to an irritating restlessness.
And I’ll tell you what, it wasn’t just a few times I turned the key over again trying to get back on the road.
I thought I was headed toward Hosea. I was pretty sure that God even confirmed that when that’s the direction a book I was reading one night took.
But it wasn’t Hosea. It wasn’t any of my favorite old haunts, places I like to settle into when I’m feeling edgy.
I felt for a while as though I were trapped inside a pinpall machine, with the shiny silver ball pinging off my head and setting off bells and whistles and way-too-bright lights. And then, hunched over at the bedside, I flipped to 27 and the ball stopped rolling. Just for a moment.
Funny that in my whirling around, trying to corral a herd of stray thoughts, He would stop me with just this one thing: a reminder to chase one single, solitary thing.
The same one David chased:
We spent the week together in these words, me clamoring at Him to “show me the the thing.”
I read 27 in different versions. I read it aloud some days. I read it from my knees. I walked around and read it throwing my arms all wild for effect. (Yes, I really do this. Somehow, I feel more convincing that way.)
I read it throughout the day, printing both the NIV and The Message and pinning them to my bulletin board above my desk. I read the whole thing at once. I read a portion at a time.
I read and read and read. I asked and asked and asked.
But the “thing” wasn’t coming. He wasn’t speaking. He wasn’t showing it. I remained more aware of my distractions than His pointing to the “thing.”
It’s funny, you know. Reading of the “one thing” David spent His life after and wondering why I can’t see “thing” God’s saying. Just yesterday, six days into the thing, I caught the next verse in The Message:
While I snapped, Glorious, gracious God, speak, show me the thing, He was speaking.
He was whispering the One Thing.
Annoyed, I looked across to the next page. I didn’t turn the page; I know the rules. But I looked across to the page open on the right. Perhaps I’d just landed on the wrong Psalm. It’s happened.
The very last verse of 27 sits atop the next page, isolated. I’d not noticed it there all by itself the first few days.
Truth is, I’m still not sure I’ve seen the thing. I’ve seen a thing. A couple of things, in fact.
But I’m not sure that I’ve seen the thing.
It may take a little more waiting.
Did you play along? We’d love to hear in the comments if you took an extended stay somewhere. Where did you go? What did you see? How did God speak? How long could you stand it?
Even if you just spent a little longer than usual, tell us what you found. And if you happened to post on it, drop your link in too. I don’t have deft Linky skills, but I’ll be glad to update as we go.
I happened to catch these already:
Nancy is resting in the hammock, seeking an oasis in the desert: Perhaps an Oasis
And Julie see Jesus praying us through each day: Camping Out
Laura finds a way to let the seeds take root: Kyrie Eleison
Jennifer sees how God moves His plan to fill the whole earth with His glory: To Fill the Earth