How do you start your day? A cup of coffee? A bowl of muesli? A gentle read of yesterday’s paper? A crossword? A puzzle? Whatever you do, does it really set you up for the day? To cope with all that comes your way? Probably not. For once you set foot outside the door, the world steps in.
That gentle ride to work becomes a road race. Traffic lights acting as starting guns. Ready, steady, go! The roundabout becomes can I go now….. no, now…. oh, now!! And you slot into the circling traffic. Bus routes full of decisions. Stand or sit? Upstairs or down? Quick exit? Get off the stop before and walk a bit? To be healthy or what!!! And then when you get there the daily round of emails, meetings, and telephone calls. People and children asking questions. Requiring answers and actions. But perhaps you are the cleaner. Wielding the mop in a slow rhythmic way. First this way then that. Thoughts that are miles away. Perhaps puzzling out the crossword clue you couldn’t quite get. Whether your job is busy or methodical, each has a value. A value that you either like or not. A value that says something to you. Personally.
For me, a stay at home wife, and this week a mum (- yippee!), my mornings are of my own making. Yes I have certain things I have to do, but they are very much up to me. The how, and the when is up to me. I start the morning with a glass of water, followed by the breakfast Mr A gets ready. Orange juice, tea, muesli, and fresh fruit. Yes I’m in that lane. The lane that aims to be healthy. Healthy all day. I don’t often succeed, but I try! Then, once Mr A has gone off to his work, and I have washed up and tidied around for a bit, I make a cup of coffee and settle down to a quiet time. A precious time with my bible and my LORD. To reflect on His word. To find the thing He wants me to note today. Yes, there is always something to take with me into the day. Some little gem. Some phrase or verse. Something that needs to be worked on. In doing this time, I am usually set up for the day. If I miss it, I’m wrong. Not quite put together!
For the last three or four weeks I have been looking at and studying Numbers. I mentioned it here . Some of the chapters, I have looked at, read, and then scratched my head. What can I take from that? So I read it again. I think again. And gradually the pencil I’m holding, begins to put my thoughts onto paper. What was once a blank sheet fills up with arrows, comments, references. Something of value. Eventually, something to take with me into the day. Well this morning was a bit like that. Numbers 28 and 29. Two chapters. Although I could quite see them easily as just one long one. All about the offerings the people were to give to the LORD, “a pleasing aroma.” A thought and a scratch of the head.
Daily offerings. Sabbath offerings. Monthly offerings. Offerings for Passover. The Festival of Weeks. The Festival of Trumpets. The Day of Atonement. Offerings for the Festival of Booths. Each carefully worded. Each with their own instructions. To work or rest. To be quiet or to “joyfully shout”! Each lasting a different length of time. Each having a different sacrifice. A burnt offering. A grain offering. A drink offering. All with that “pleasing aroma to the LORD”. A thought and a scratch of the head.
What should I take from it? Should it be left there? On the page? To read and then move on? Everything that is written in His Word is of value. It wouldn’t be there if there was nothing of value. So this had to have value. And as I thought and studied. Read and re-read. Scratched my head and thought some more. My pencil filled in my page. A yearly calendar of offerings. The same offerings on each day of each year. The 10th day of the 7th month. Each morning and dusk. Day in, day out. Month in, month out. A rhythm. A shape. A shape that becomes a routine. A routine that became theirs. A routine that became theirs to share. With each other and with God. A link. A personal link.
But I don’t give offerings in the same way. I have no reason to give this type of offering. I do have a need to share a link. A need to give thanks. A need to find a pathway. A need to build a relationship. A personal relationship. A special relationship with my LORD. To be His disciple means going beyond that quiet time. Beyond the Sunday service. Beyond the mid week meeting. It means building into my life a rhythm. A shape. A routine to shape me. To shape me to love, honour, worship and obey my LORD. To build up a means to ensure that I remember him daily, weekly, monthly, and annually. To let it sink into my actions. My words. My whole being. To become the habit. The norm. The routine that I walk each and every day. The routine that is not lonely. The routine that takes along my Friend. The routine that walks with a purpose. An aim. His purpose. His aim. The one He has for me. The routine that has heaps of value.
In so doing, I want my life to have a meaning. One that He sets up every day. To cope with all that comes my way. And in turn may it be “a pleasing aroma to the LORD”.