“I feel simply carried along each hour, doing my part in a plan which is far beyond myself. This sense of cooperation with God in the little things is what so astonishes me, for I have never felt this way before. I need something, and turn round to find it waiting for me. I must work to be sure , but there is God working along with me. My part is to live this hour in continuous inner conversation with God and in perfect responsiveness to His will. This seems to be all I need to think about.”
I read this quote this morning in Jennie Allen’s book, Stuck. It’s a quote from a man named Frank Laubach. In his book Practicing His Presence, he shares how his decision to make a conscious effort to dwell on Christ continually, “moment-by-moment, conversation-by-conversation, activity-by-activity,” had impacted his life. These were some of the words he wrote in his journal a few weeks into the deliberate journey.
They reminded me of a question that was brought up by the pastor at church on Sunday:
“How many of us have a plan for maximizing our joy in Jesus?”
The pastor premised his thought by sharing how generally “if you believe something will give you joy…you plan for it.” He gave a great example of going on vacation. We typically don’t go away one or two weeks without some sort of plan in place. We don’t just show up at a hotel without having taken the intentional steps of booking a room. Our goals when we go on vacation is to find rest and experience joy and to hopefully do this with minimal worry or anxiety.
I love this quote by Mr. Laubach because, wow, does he have a plan in place for maximizing his joy in Jesus. His goal is to stay continually connected to the giver and supplier of that joy.
Another thing I love about this quote was when he says, “I must work to be sure, but there is God working along with me.” Again, this reminded me of something that has been addressed for the last two Sundays and a quote I shared with you last week. “We must take intentional steps in the direction of our affection…grace is opposed to earning not effort.”
I was also reminded of seasons in my own life when intentional steps to discover and experience more of Jesus led to some pretty incredible places. Unfortunately, what prompted those intentional steps were a few years of unintentional and/or stubborn steps that led to several wrong turns where some painful and hard lessons were waiting for me.
Today, more than anything, my desire is to spend less and less time on the roads that lead nowhere. I want to go somewhere…because I’ve tasted the hope and freedom and joy of somewhere!
“Barricade the road that goes Nowhere;
grace me with your clear revelation.
I choose the true road to Somewhere,
I post your road signs at every curve and corner.
I grasp and cling to whatever you tell me; don’t let me down!
I’ll run the course you lay out for me if you’ll just show me how.
teach me lessons for living so I can stay the course.
Give me insight so I can do what you tell me
my whole life one long, obedient response.
Guide me down the road of your commandments;
I love traveling this freeway!” Psalm 119: 29-33 Message