I collapse in the swing beneath the crab apple tree and breathe deep. This will not be the lingering long in God’s presence that my soul craves. Though filling is what I need, the clock dictates I remain empty. This squeezing in before the rush to work does not fit well.
Looking back, I unroll the scroll that has been my day. Before the swing there was
-Caring for the dog. Necessity. -Chicken salad chilling. Banana bread cooling on the counter. Family must eat. -Exercise. “Physical training is of some value”, says Paul. -Ministry: online shopping, planning, organizing. Kingdom work. -Check email. Only takes a few minutes. -Awake with dawn. Enjoy chirping birds outside bedroom window. Content. Full.
No wasted time; no idleness or sloth. Satisfying each one, so why am I drained? How did the fullness leak out?
Puzzled I reconsider. And there it is. The error that brings me thirsting to this swing. Between the music of the birds and the hum of the computer, there is nothing. No reading of Scripture, no study of Proverbs, no opening of John Piper’s “When I Don’t Desire God”, no recording in journal of truths revealed. No communion with God. The rushing so quickly into the day tore a tiny hole in my fullness. Bit by bit it has leaked and now I sit empty. With no time for filling.
There is this habit of the swing before work; it satisfies the senses. Soft breezes; scent of fresh cut grass; buzz of bees; blue skies framing tall green trees; Ewok with his chin on my leg. All of this plus love letters from God in my hands. It is enough to fill to the brim.
But today I arrive too late. No time for refreshment of the soul and senses. No time for reading of love letters. Of the ‘morning, noon, and night’ of prayer, the swing is my noon, but I have neglected the morning. It shows. Fullness is sustained with deep morning drinks; the swing is the time for sips, refilling to the brim.
How good of God to show me I thirst. Without Him telling, I would not taste the dryness. This parched, shrivelled soul is content with drought. It does not know there is something more. Without Him telling, there would be no drinking.
Tomorrow between the awaking and the getting to the business of the day, there will a long drink. Of this I’m sure.
They drink their fill of the abundance of Your house; And You give them to drink of the river of Your delights. Psalm 36:8