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Saturday, April 13, 2013

Surrendering to Sabbath…Not random

My frame was not hidden from You when I was made in the secret place.

When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,

Your eyes saw my unformed body.

All the days ordained for me were written in

Your book before one of them came to be.

Psalms 139:15-16

I was in the kitchen one morning, playing good steward to my home and family.  There is grace and elegance in little things;  I desire a rich portion of that grace.  I’d been multi-tasking, as usual, preparing to make breakfast, washing dishes, when I noticed a spoon, precariously balanced on the edge of a teacup, rocking gently back and forth as a steady stream of water fell from the faucet onto its bowl.  It did not topple. It danced.  I called to my son, knowing he would take equal pleasure in this moment.  I stopped what I was doing, appreciating the quiet space of a thing not anticipated, and I smiled.  It was a quiet moment, a rare moment of deliberate stillness.  He didn’t make it before my precarious structure gave way, the spoon clattered into the sink, and the moment passed.  As I explained what I‘d wanted him to see, I almost referenced the randomness of the occurrence, dishes tossed into the sink, the position of the faucet, the force of the stream…but before I spoke I realized, not random.  There is no randomness in God.  All the days (and their related adventures) for me were written by Him before anyone of them ever came to be.  It was not random.

Not random. I am reminded of the experience of meeting a dear friend for tea in town. Much like me, she collects people. In the time it took me to run in and out of Starbucks I noticed that she’s talking with and bringing over someone she’s apparently just met, who will spend the next 90 minutes talking to and ministering to us both.  He was a writer and photographer with a copy of his book, who when he departed left her with a prayer, the Shema.  According to Wikipedia,
Sabbath. Time to be still.
Time to draw nigh. Time to appreciate the miracle of a
teaspoon dancing on the edge of
 a cup tossed into a sink.  Not at all randomly.

Observant Jews consider the Shema to be the most important part of the prayer service in Judaism, and its twice-daily recitation as a mitzvah (religious commandment). It is traditional for Jews to say the Shema as their last words, and for parents to teach their children to say it before they go to sleep at night.

Apparently, even tea at Starbucks is not random.  “All the days ordained for me were written in Your book before….”
Before.  As in before we scheme and plan.  As in before we rant and rave.  As in before we dream and hope and occasionally fail.  So when it’s all feeling downhill, late, lost, scary, disconnected; there was always a plan.  He foretold our successes before we were woven together.  There is neither randomness nor failure in Him.  He’s got it. Long before we tossed dirty dishes into the sink with no plan, only to see order, elegance, and in the stillness, the beauty of a Perfect God. We were His Beloved before we were.  It was never random. 

So exhale…because your life, like mine, is filled to overflowing with abundance.  And once again, just in time, He speaks life into our dreams and love into our hearts.

Now it is time for Sabbath. Time to be still. Time to draw nigh. Time to appreciate the miracle of a teaspoon dancing on the edge of a cup tossed into a sink.  Not at all randomly.   

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