And I’m thinking about the week ahead. I’m thinking about all the busy that tends to sneak its way into my heart.
I’m thinking that mornings always come way too early.
Hi, I’m Kayla, and I’m not a morning person.
And then I remember the single best thing I ever do in the morning: Acknowledge that the day isn’t mine.
This is the day the Lord has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it.
Even if it’s as I’m fumbling for my Coke-bottle glasses and stumbling down the hall with a toddler monkey-gripping to my pajama-clad leg, I find that when I acknowledge that the Creator who set the stars in the sky has brought another sunrise into my life, my heart is better tuned for whatever the day brings.
I think we find Jesus at the intersection of tired and thankful.
I’m easily distracted and my mind starts tallying to-do lists before the first cup of coffee has been poured. I don’t always remember God in the morning. Or throughout the day.
Sometimes it’s small steps toward getting all of my heart in-step with Him.
Spending time with God or even just reciting a prayer (sometimes all I have in me is — God, today is yours or God, I need your help) is nothing new. I mean, it’s as ancient as any faith. In Scot McKnight’s The Jesus Creed, he writes about how daily, when awaking and when retiring, followers of Judaism, for centuries upon centuries, have recited aloud a creed. This creed is lifted from the Bible (Deuteronomy 6:4-9) along with two other texts.
Hear (shema), O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the door frames of your houses and on your gates.
The Shema is is the first prayer taught to Jewish Children, and the prayer exemplifies their faith. When Jesus (a practicing Jew) met an expert in the law who asked, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?” Jesus answered by reciting the Shema first and added “love your neighbor as yourself.” McKnight calls this Jesus Creed, and says when Jesus did this, he transformed the Shema, reshaping the spiritual core of his followers.
Hear O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. The second is this: Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these (Mark 12:29-31).
I’m ready to be more intentional in honoring God in my heart, and I think I’ll be daily resetting by praying the scripture above — before grabbing my phone and squinting my blurry eyes to make sure I don’t have any important texts or e-mails waiting.
I’m not sure there’s anything more freeing than living intentionally in heaping amounts of life-giving truth.
“The soul formation element of the Jesus Creed is reciting it daily — morning, midday and evening/bedtime — so that it works its way its ways into your bones. In this way it comes to mind when we most need it — on the highway while driving, in the home when tempted to argue, in the neighborhood when someone taxes our patience, with children when they are — well, children. It comes to mind only when it has been recited often enough to attach itself to us as ligaments do to bones.” – Scott McKnight
(This week, I’ve been diving into what it might look like to live free in our hearts. The upcoming weeks this month will focus on living free at home, at work, and at church.)
This is the first of 31 daily posts of living free. Living freely is something we do momentarily, but to fully live free? That’s a transformation — a total change not only in what we’re like, but in who we are. You can find all the 31 Days of Living Free posts here. (Disclosure: Some links may be affiliate links.)