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Tuesday, 7 October 2014

31 Days: a Discipline and a Joy

   One of the bloggers I follow mentioned at the end of September that she would take part in a "31 Days" challenge.  She would write and post a blog every day in the month of October.  She shared the website that originated this challenge and encouraged others to join her in this.
   I did go to that website and explored what it was all about, but in the end I decided it was not for me, not this year.  However, it set me on a slightly different 31 Day challenge.  During the month of September my times of reading and meditating on God's Word were inconsistent.  I could blame the adjustment to my new job responsibilities and balancing all my roles at home and in the community, but instead I blame my lack of discipline.
   I have set a goal for the month of October to read one chapter of the book of 1 Samuel (chosen because it has exactly 31 chapters) and then write in my journal about one nugget in that chapter that especially struck me.  It was not about posting all of these reflections publicly but re-learning a daily discipline in my spiritual walk.  That being said, I would like to share the nugget from Day 3.

1 Samuel 3 Verse 19

"The LORD was with Samuel as he grew up, and he let none of his words fall to the ground."


   The phrase "The LORD was with" appears in different parts of the Bible, in reference to Joseph (sold into slavery by his brothers),  Moses and Joshua (leaders of the Israelites).  That word "with" is such a common word that we can quickly gloss over it.  We would hardly say that this preposition is a key word in the verse, but it actually is important.  Writer Marilyn Chandler McEntyre states about any preposition "we love [it] for its startling power to affirm and reframe relationships" [1].  The fact that God is "with" a person tells us that He cares to come alongside us despite the fact that we are imperfect and weak.  The notion that God is "with" us is further elaborated in the very name "Immanuel" by which Jesus came to be "God with us" is a fuller and more tangible way.
   The second half of the verse is also remarkable.  God let none of Samuel's words fall to the ground.  None.  There is consistency of character in this servant of God.  He was a steady leader that all Israel could count on.  The expression "fall to the ground" reminds me that when things fall to the ground, they are not valued, they get lost and forgotten.  They may be trampled or destroyed.  They surely will bet wet, dirty or tarnished.  The ground is not a place we put items we care about.  In contrast Samuel's words were heeded, upheld, sustained, able to be used and not wasted.
   May it be that my words and meditations not fall to the ground, not because I am so eloquent but because I strive to be in tune with the LORD.  Amen. 

[1] From her book Caring for Words, page 36.

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