Monday, August 23, 2010

Patwork Spirituality

By Tammy Hensel

Saturday evening my husband and I went for a walk around our neighborhood. For some reason I rejoiced to see that we were not the only ones whose lawn sported a patchwork look of green and brown grass.

Our property has an in-ground sprinkler system, installed by a previous owner, that doesn't water the yard evenly. And our many trees deprive some of the grass by blocking the sprinkler spray from reaching certain areas. I know I need to gives these areas extra water, and do so occasionally, but not consistently.

Seeing that most of my neighbors have the same problem, made me feel a little less guilty that I wasn't providing the nourishment my lawn needed to flourish. Then we came to a yard that was completely green! Not one brown patch in sight! Obviously the owners valued their lawn enough to water every area. When I arrived back at my house, I gave the brown patches a little TLC.

Unfortunately, I allow the same inconsistency in my spiritual life as I do in watering my yard. There are I times I soak myself in the word of God and experience amazing new spiritual growth. Other times I let either the busyness or entertainments of the world deny me spiritual refreshment, much like the trees in my yard block the water from reaching the grass. The result is patchwork spirituality, with dry spells that open me up to temptation and discouragement, while robbing me of my joy in the Lord.

Fortunately, our Lord offers us a well-spring of living water that can nourish us back from the driest of spiritual dry spells. King David penned Psalm 63 in just such a period of spiritual dryness. In verses 1-8, he shows us the way to spiritual renewal: confess our need and recognize the awesome lovingkindness of our God.

"O God, You are my God; I shall seek You earnestly;
My soul thirsts for You, my flesh yearns for You,
In a dry and weary land where there is no water.
Thus I have seen You in the sanctuary,
To see Your power and Your glory.
Because Your lovingkindness is better than life,
My lips will praise You.
So I will bless You as long as I live;
I will lift up my hands in Your name.
My soul is satisfied as with marrow and fatness,
And my mouth offers praises with joyful lips.
When I remember You on my bed,
I meditate on You in the night watches,
For You have been my help,
And in the shadow of Your wings I sing for joy.
My soul clings to You;
Your right hand upholds me." (NASB)

As I follow King David's advice — seek God earnestly, fill my mouth with praise and my heart with meditation on His word — then my brown patches fade and my spirit begins to thrive again.


Here is a song based on Psalm 63 by one of my favorite music groups Acapella:

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