Do you remember a time in your life when you knew that something had to change? Maybe you saw a need to add something to your routine or maybe it was time to let something go. It could also be that you realized that you had already changed and the action was just an expression of what had already taken place.
That’s part of this Truth quest I’ve been on lately. At the end of June, I attended the Christian Scholars’ Conference, held on the campus of David Lipscomb University in Nashville, TN. The whole experience was wonderful. I traveled there and back with Stephanie and Sheila and the conversation was rich. The theme of the conference — The Power of Narrative — was ideal for an English major, fiction-loving librarian. The program included former Poet Laureate Billy Collins, writer/minister Barbara Brown Taylor, Holocaust scholar Hubert Locke, and author Marilynne Robinson. Adding this to the time spent with other colleagues and friends made the conference one of the highlights of my summer.
Was it hearing Ms. Taylor discuss the power of fiction to save a life? Was it the humor and beauty of Billy Collins’ poetry? Maybe it was the multiple talents used to praise God in Tokens radio show, or perhaps it was the panel discussion on women’s experiences in the church of Christ. Something about those few days showed me that I had already changed and that it needed to be honored in my daily life.
I was reminded of the sacredness of each part of our lives. I realized that I need to be intentional about pursuing a deeper relationship with God and with creating beauty that reflects Him in my life. I don’t want to be swept up into the daily flow of life and become overwhelmed. I do not want to be so focused on my culture — even contemporary Christian culture — that I do not honor the person God has created me to be.
So what’s the plan that will keep this from simply being a grand statement and not a daily truth?
- Early morning: I’ve resisted this for a long time, but now I’m getting up between 5:00 and 5:30 for a time of focused reading and prayer. Each day, I read a bit of the Henri Nouwen book and some from Psalms and Proverbs. Each week, I read a chapter from Celebration of Discipline and focus on that discipline during that week
- Sunday morning: In addition to our family’s usual Sunday routine, I’ve been attending an 8:00 service at another congregation that is more intentional about praise and worship. It has been a real blessing.
- Small daily changes: Changes in my home to make it a more restful place, adding certain authors to my reading routine, and finding ways to bring beauty into our world.
It really isn’t anything big, is it? It’s not a new career or field of study, but it’s there and it adds depth and meaning and life. It’s amazing how it happens. When you decide what’s really important, other decisions also become much easier.