My child, pay attention to what I say.
Listen carefully to my words.
Don’t lose sight of them.
Let them penetrate deep into your heart,
for they bring life to those who find them,
and healing to their whole body.
Guard your heart above all else,
for it determines the course of your life.
Avoid all perverse talk;
stay away from corrupt speech.
Look straight ahead,
and fix your eyes on what lies before you.
Mark out a straight path for your feet; stay on the safe path.
Don’t get sidetracked; keep your feet from following evil. (Prov. 4:20-27 NLT)
Most of us keep some sort of to-do list on a daily basis, but in our high pressurised age perhaps we have not thought of making this a deliberate way of committing events to the Lord.
There is no reason why we cannot extend this thought to include the needs of friends and others as well as our actual plans and appointments and so on.
Kathleen Adams, who lectures widely on the therapeutic value of using journalling as a means of removing trauma rather delightfully calls this “Le Choix du Jour” – The Choice of the Day.
Making a feature out of these events in this way makes it easy for us to cover and to “sanctify” them in prayer. It is a useful way of making our faith more comprehensive, as well as providing a ready made way of looking back to see how these events worked out. Don’t forget to include the events you are not looking forward to so much !
I mentioned this in Vale of Tears: The Power of Writing to Heal, This includes the details of another simple but remarkably effective exercise that has helped many to be set free from the after effects of trauma. May we encourage you to visit or to revisit The Power of Writing to Heal!
Although this approach might appear somewhat formulaic, “Lord I give . . . and . . . to You today,” we can readily find ways to make it infinitely variable. Neither does dedicating specific events or issues we will be facing each day in any way preclude focusing on longer term plans and strategies. These too we can scoop up and “wait to see what the Lord says” (Hab. 2:1).
There is value too in looking beyond specific events to explore any underlying feelings and emotions that the Lord would have us pick up on. What are we feeling anxious about for example? Anxiety is often the fruit of looking in the wrong direction – and indulging wrong emotions and unhelpful perspectives. It is entirely understandable we should want to be set free from it at all costs – but if part of the reason why we are feeling it is because of a subconscious attempt to escape from the cost of fulfilling our destiny, then it may actually be serving a purpose in highlighting the fear or defiance that needs to be flushed to the surface and brought into the light. Before we sympathise too much with ourselves for feeling the way that we do, therefore, it is worth checking ourselves over and handing our concerns to the Lord for Him to reach right down to the root causes.
It is much the same with other feelings and emotions, such as fear or indignation. These concerns too need harnessing and “sanctifying.”
Reread the verses above, so that we may “fix our eyes on what lies before you” whilst also taking care to “guard our heart above all else!”