Daily Devotion - Thursday, March 31, 2016

I've been thinking about what it means to live into the hope of the Resurrection of Jesus, and how that transforms you and the world around you.  It's easy to say all the right things about how to live a Resurrection life:  "Live abundantly!"  "Experience joy!"  "Embrace happiness!"  

What I've come to understand, however, is that sometimes it's much harder to actually live an abundant, joyful, life--to practice the things we so easily say.  There are so many things that get in the way, aren't there?  

Just now my wife Merideth and I were contemplating all of the things that we have to do today--places we have to go, people we have to meet, tasks that have to get done.  More immediately, the kids have to be awakened, fed and dressed to go out the door in forty-five minutes. 

Add to that about a hundred things that are swirling in our heads about issues that we're dealing with, hard conversations that we need to have, challenges we are facing in work, with family, worries over our kids...  

Do you ever get up in the morning, and you are already looking forward to coming home and going back to bed?  

There is a line from the old HBO TV show The Sopranos that has stuck with me for hears. The late James Gandolfini's character Tony Soprano says, "You know my feelings, every day is a gift. It's just, does it have to be a pair of socks?"  

I was reading one of my devotional books today and a line in today's entry stuck in my head, and I haven't been able to shake it.  It read, "Your life is meant to be lived, not endured."  But how can we begin to live rather than endure?  How do get past the barriers to living a Resurrection life?

There's this verse in the Old Testament book of Hosea that reads, "Sow righteousness for yourselves, reap the fruit of unfailing love, and break up your unplowed ground; for it is time to seek the Lord, until he comes and showers his righteousness on you." (Hosea 10:12)  

"Break up your unplowed ground."  Our souls need to be prepared for the harvest of God's blessing.  Like soil that needs to be tilled and turned over in order to be planted, our souls need to be tended, tilled, and the hardscrabble of dirt that covers us and keeps us from experiencing blessing needs to be broken up and ready for planting. 

Spend today tilling the soil of your soul.  Find moments of rest.  Spend time in prayer.  Stop and breathe.  Push back against the busy-ness and be present in the moments that you are given.  Live abundantly.  Experience joy.  Embrace happiness.  And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always.  Amen.  


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