Friday, September 24, 2010
3:01 p.m. Today's project was to overnight some information to the Student Loan people, directly to a very helpful agent named Sue. We are trying to cobble together a Parent Plus loan for Steven, for the last relatively small amount he needs to pay his tuition for the year at Fresno Pacific.
While paying for the mailing at the local Mission Grove UPS store that Ron has owned for two decades now, it occured to me to ask if they had a gold metallic pen. I wasn't looking for the bulky markers you decorate with, but a gel pen style . The assistant found it for me, $1.99, and I "went on my way rejoicing," like the newly saved man in Acts 8:39!
Why the excitement? I had been waiting to go shopping for a check to be deposited for over a week, so we could buy some groceries, and it came two days ago. I speedily paid bills and restocked the pantry, fridge and freezer, but one item was needed: the gold pen.
After taking a Heart to Home journaling class at Calvary Moreno Valley from our pastor's wife Robin, I began the practice of writing each day's page in shades of the same color, using and alternating different color "families" per day. But there is one consistent color at the top of each page: gold, as I greet God the Father with "Good Morning, Lord!" I praise Him for His spectacular creation, love, forgiveness, mercy and righteousness; for His creation of marriage and family, and for my salvation through His Son Jesus Christ!
Whenever a gold pen dries up, I resort to using bronze or silver, still lovely, and certainly as heartfelt a greeting, but not as ultimately gorgeous as glistening gold. It's just a quirk in my morning devotions that I enjoy, and maybe brings a smile to the face of my Father!
We humans love our traditions, patterns, and routines, don't we, whether public or intensely private. Family rituals, like Sunday church, having dinner together, reading the comics, birthday celebrations, giant Thanksgiving dinners or baking at Christmas give us a sense of belonging, and help form our identity. Those regular, repetitive events mean "home, " and will likely continue from one generation to the next. Our nation also has several holidays and remembrances, September 11th being the most recently established. Remembrances unify us as a people, preserving our unique, God-inspired and God-ordained history.
God established rituals for His people, such as the feasts in the Law of Moses, attendance at corporate worship, the fellowship in Christ inherent in taking communion, and baptism that signifies new life in Christ. The entire universe runs on a precise repetitive pattern, until the day God decides, "Time's up!" and Jesus Christ's return ushers in a new heaven and new earth.
I very much enjoy my morning devotional ritual, of which journaling is one part. It's a time to pour out my heart to the Lord, by writing out my prayers. Did I pout in my poverty and refuse to journal without a gold pen? Of course not! A pencil or a crayon on a scrap of paper would do--I just want to talk with my Father!
Will I relish putting my new gold pen to paper to greet the Lord tomorrow morning? You bet I will!