Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Quiet Morning Boat Rides

Winter is so not my favorite season. This scene was outside my Dream Room windows this morning. And yesterday morning. And the morning before that and before that and...

I love awaking at 5:00 and having whole free, bonus hours for my quiet time. I try not to peek out of the window before 7:30, but I do anyway, and I always groan at the darkness. And then when the sun finally does arise, well, to be greeted by such a frigid scene and to know our daytime high will be a measly 12 degrees F., well, like I said, winter is so not my favorite season.

In fact, I would go bonkers if not for the peaceful morning rowboat rides I take down a calm like-glass river.


I mean, my morning quiet times feel like that... Like I'm lying comfortably in a small boat, with my arms upon the side and gazing down into the depths as the boat silently skims ahead. And it's like God is at the helm, guiding the boat, the one doing the rowing, the one keeping us so steady that no wind in the world would dare topple us over. But talking, too... telling me about Himself and asking me about who I am (although He already knows the answers, still He likes to hear me speak them).

And some mornings I recall the Bible parable about the ten virgins who were waiting for the Master at night, but only five had thought ahead to bring enough oil for their lamps. So when their lamps went dark, the unprepared five had to go shopping for more oil (at that time of night? Way back then? Good luck.). And they missed all the excitement, all they'd been waiting for, because they were shopping when the Master arrived home. They'd been caught unready for the big night.

And in a way, I see these morning boat rides as my own preparation time... Time to become so acquainted with God that-- when, on stormy days ahead when the waters churn, wave and spin--my prepared second nature will turn my eyes to God at the head of the boat.

But not in panic. Not grasping for wild ideas as to what I can do to stay afloat.

No, but in trust from daily practice of having watched Him all these calm, silent mornings before. From having become close to Him during these winter mornings--in reality, among pools of lamplight, not water, while lying, not in a boat, but upon my Dream Room bed...

...from having come to know so well that Voice, the one which can calm any heart in any storm and from taking many a boat ride in company of Him--in preparation--for whatever kind of water may be churning farther up ahead...

...not waiting until the storms are lashing and flailing their waves and finding it hard to trust someone I barely even know. But knowing Him now in times of calm water.

"But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut.
"Later the others also came. 'Sir! Sir!' they said. 'Open the door for us!'
"But he replied, 'I tell you the truth, I don't know you.'
"Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour." Matthew 25:10-13

"You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart." ... Jeremiah 29:13

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