It’s been a very long time since I’ve stood on a starting block. But I still remember the words, “swimmers take you mark,” and then waiting until the gun fired. This was just a momentary period of time when everything else was tuned out awaiting one single sound. Occasionally, however, we would hear that sound twice, meaning that someone had jumped the gun. “Jumping the gun” is a phrase that has become commonly used for people starting before they should and getting ahead of where they should be.
It is so easy for us to jump the gun in our daily lives. So often things come up sooner than we anticipated them or we get started later than we thought, and we then begin without readying ourselves. While God is perfectly capable of catching us up when we get started that way, it is generally much better to spend the time with Him in advance preparing our minds and our hearts with His Word, His peace, and our awareness of His constant presence and His hand on us before we head out.
There are times when this time may mean just being quiet, allowing Him to guide my thoughts and then bringing them back to Him. Other times it is spent working through various issues of prayer, making sure to pause and listen. And then there are those most frequent times of reading a brief portion of His Word, and then meditating on it at various points during my day. Very often I find that what I looked at in His Word prior to heading out for my day, at some time during the day it becomes applicable. And frequently when I meditate on my morning time with Him, later in the day it provides for a time of meaningful summary.
“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.” (Psalm 63:5–8, NASB95)
In the morning I can look ahead with Him in anticipation, and in the evening I can look back and so often see His faithfulness. When I head out with concerns, I can even look back later and see how He met those concerns or at least steadied my in the continued waiting.
I know I have had plenty of days of jumping the gun, and plenty of times of coming back to Him and admitting such. I’ve had those times when I jumped out anxiously or even in anger or frustration, only to see that my attitude proved more a problem than a step toward a solution. But even then, our God has met me and so, so many others with His compassionate arms and welcomed us back to trusting Him in all things.
Sarah writes today about lingering in His Presence. The importance of this can never be overstated.
Today in “Jesus Calling” by Sarah Young (10/29)
Linger in My Presence a while. Rein in your impulses to plunge into the day’s activities. Beginning your day alone with me is essential preparation for success. A great athlete takes time to prepare himself mentally for the feat ahead of him before he moves a muscle. Similarly, your time of being still in My Presence equips you for the day ahead of you. Only I know what will happen to you this day. I have arranged the events you will encounter as you go along your way. If you are not adequately equipped for the journey, you will grow weary and lose heart. Relax with Me while I ready you for action.
“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:10, NASB95)
“For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” (Hebrews 12:3, NASB95)