When to Look Up

September 7, 2013

“My voice You shall hear in the morning, O Lord; In the morning I will direct it to You, and I will look up.”  (Psalm 5:3)

In one sentence in this beautiful psalm David twice emphasizes the reality that he will pray to his God in the morning.  There are three directions of life we must master.  We must learn to look up.  We must learn to look in until our Lord shows us things we need to know about ourselves.  Only then are we prepared to look around in all our relationships.

Anytime we are having difficulty in our relationships with spouses, children, parents or those who are outside the home we should always ask ourselves if we have looked up and looked in sincerely.  Knowing ourselves as God wants us to know ourselves is crucial preparation for relating to others.

Smart people are very often right and so they sometimes think they are always right.  It is very difficult to live with those who think they are always right.  In the same way it is difficult to relate to those who think they never sin.  When God helps us look in and see ourselves as He sees us it gives us a humility that is a tool we need to face our relationships.

What would you think of a concert violinist who plays a beautiful concerto solo and then instead of an encore comes out and tunes her violin?  In the same way we should not play the concert of our day and then tune the instrument of our lives.

We should begin ‘in the morning’ tuning our lives through our prayers to God as the Psalmist directs us, so that we can look up, look in and then look around.


A Prescription for Preparation

August 11, 2012

“My voice You shall hear in the morning, O Lord; In the morning I will direct it to You…” (Psalm 5:3)

What would you think of a concert violinist who played a brilliant concerto and then instead of granting an applauding audience an encore, fervently tuned his violin?  Spiritual people over the centuries believed that we should not play the concert of our day and then at night tune our instrument when the concert has already been played.

Do you wake up holy in the morning?  I mean, before you have had your coffee, are you spiritual?  Most people do not wake up holy.  I believe it is possible for spiritual people to wake up holy, but if we will be honest I believe many of us will confess there are times we do not wake up that way.

George McDonald, a mentor of C.S. Lewis, wrote:  “With every morn my life afresh must break the crust of self gathered about me fresh, that Thy Wind-Spirit might rush in, shake the darkness out of me and rend the mesh the spider devils spin out of my flesh, eager to net my soul before it wake, that it may slumber us lie and listen to the snake.” 

That is an eloquent and accurate description of the way I sometimes awaken.   When I wake up listening to the snake I need to ask God to break the crust of self that has gathered about me fresh, shake the darkness out of me and then do something about my flesh.  My flesh is my human nature, unaided by God.

Do you sometimes wake up listening to the snake?  When you do, let George McDonald show you what to do about your unaided human nature.