tuning your day

I really like listening to symphonies and experiencing the music from excellent orchestras.  I think I acquired this appreciation from various field trips to the orchestra when I was in elementary school and maybe from a few of those heinous piano lessons in my childhood, maybe.  I get extremely excited when I start to hear an orchestra tune for the performance – like a giddy anticipation of the ensuing excitement that is about to unfold.  Here’s a brief link to an orchestra tuning & I’d encourage you to focus on the one instrument to which all the others are attempting to match.

I bring up this example today because many of us have pieces & parts to our lives that can feel disjointed & unconnected.  Let me encourage you today, to tune your attention to the Holy Spirit to give cohesion, direction and order to what can seem random & chaotic in your life.  Sometimes we need to remove some clutter that creates cacophony & disorder.  Sometimes, we may need to slow down to hear the Holy Spirit better.  And sometimes we may need to have some internal fine-tuning so that our lives express the love of God poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit – Romans 5:5 🙂

Not the Plan


Have you ever made a plan only to find it go array? I have a friend who set a long term goal, worked diligently toward that goal for many years & now it seems like their efforts have completely unraveled & failed. Of course this can be super discouraging & when this kind of thing happens, we find ourselves on shaky footing & uncertain where to go or what to do. 
So what should we do when our plans go array? Here are a few suggestions:

  • Step back & re-evaluate: sometimes a perspective adjustment can help us see a broader point of view & thereby improve our decisions
  • Seek God: if a crisis makes us seek God more than the crisis is good; if we don’t seek God more in a crisis, then the crisis can get infinitely worse
  • Who am I? A crisis often forces us to look at ourselves with greater clarity & objectivity. In this pause, the Holy Spirit can work on our character & shape us to be more Christ-like
  • Keep going & growing: don’t let detoured plans poison your thinking into quitting. Get up, brush yourself off, learn & keep going. 

Feel free to pass this along to anyone you know that could be going through a course correction season 🙂

Are Rituals Good?

  

My knee jerk answer to the ritual question is “no”. Rituals feel constructive to me, empty & sometimes counterproductive. In all fairness, I wasn’t raised with many rituals & my personality probably bends toward things non-ritualistic, at least in theory. 
But if I look at my daily prayer time, I’m very ritualized. My ritual is to stumble out of bed, pull on a sweatshirt without tripping down the stairs, drink two vitamin drinks, boil water for my coffee, go to the bathroom, make coffee, sit on my couch, get cozy with my respective blankets, set my Bibles by my side & commence with my reading & prayer time, hopefully rich, intimate & deep. 

If I frame rituals from the purpose of creating a structure for desired goals (intimate relationship with God, quiet reflection, listening, discipline, etc), then I’m totally on board with such rituals. But if my rituals are merely a form for me to go through the motions without being wholly present, then the rituals can become empty shackles, hallow & even hypocritical. 

Substance without form is often unproductive. But form without substance is a vacuous mirage. And religion with rituals is no substitute for a deeply intimate relationship with the Holy Spirit 🙂

Are Rituals Good?

  

My knee jerk answer to the ritual question is “no”. Rituals feel constructive to me, empty & sometimes counterproductive. In all fairness, I wasn’t raised with many rituals & my personality probably bends toward things non-ritualistic, at least in theory. 
But if I look at my daily prayer time, I’m very ritualized. My ritual is to stumble out of bed, pull on a sweatshirt without tripping down the stairs, drink two vitamin drinks, boil water for my coffee, go to the bathroom, make coffee, sit on my couch, get cozy with my respective blankets, set my Bibles by my side & commence with my reading & prayer time, hopefully rich, intimate & deep. 

If I frame rituals from the purpose of creating a structure for desired goals (intimate relationship with God, quiet reflection, listening, discipline, etc), then I’m totally on board with such rituals. But if my rituals are merely a form for me to go through the motions without being wholly present, then the rituals can become empty shackles, hallow & even hypocritical. 

Substance without form is often unproductive. But form without substance is a vacuous mirage. And religion with rituals is no substitute for a deeply timing are relationship with the Holy Spirit 🙂