by Liz Cowen Furman
A cop magnet. That’s me! Once those flashing lights even appeared behind me when my cruise control was set. Go figure. Recently, I whined about my plight to my Mom-in-Love’s doctor. He suggested maybe this phenomenon occurs because I am a redhead. Ha!
He went on to say, “You know what a redhead is, don’t you?”
“No, pray tell what is a redhead?” I asked.
“A redhead is a hot blonde.”
Double Ha! I told him his theory was seriously flawed. A person trying to pick someone up would not give her a speeding ticket. Giving someone a ticket would not be very conducive to romance in my book. Besides, most of the policemen I’ve met lately are young enough to be my sons. I think maybe I am just in too big a hurry. Tote that barge, lift that bail; or in my life, pick up that kid, make that dinner. On and on it goes. What I discovered in the last few years is that I need to make a conscious effort to slow down. Not just behind the wheel, but in my life; and especially in my relationship with God.
In January many folks make New Year’s Resolutions they have every intention of keeping, until life happens. In light of this I thought I would share a great idea our pastor, Pastor Jeff Clark, gave us a few January’s ago. He proposed that in lieu of some empty resolution to lose a hundred pounds or exercise forty-five minutes every day, as good as those may be; maybe we could start a quest to know the heart of God. He made the case that if we want to know the heart of God we need to learn about the kingdom of God. When we learn about the kingdom of God we will find it to be all about righteousness, peace, salvation and it will all point to the Glory of God. Knowing this, it occurred to me, would make it easier to trust the Savior with all that concerns us today. Pastor Clark suggested we could learn this information by reading the Bible.
His idea? Get a journal and every morning (or evening depending on your personality) search through the Bible looking for a nugget aimed at you that day. Start in the Psalms, he suggested. When you find a verse that speaks to you, write it in your book and journal what it is telling you.
Several years before his proposal, I began praying that the Holy Spirit would put a burning desire in my heart, and the hearts of those I love, to be in the Word daily. While reading the Bible regularly, honestly, often I didn’t get much out of it. Knowing I needed to be in His Word daily became a habit of hurrying to read and get that job done. Did you ever get to the end of a page and think, “What did I just read?” only to have to then go back and read it again?
Taking the good pastor up on his idea has transformed my life. Now a couple years in, I have moved past the Psalms and currently am loving Isaiah! These days, if I don’t read my Bible every day it feels like I didn’t get dressed; like walking around without my clothes on. Not a good sensation at all, feels very vulnerable. That visual image gives a whole new meaning to putting on the full armor of God doesn’t it? And strangely enough the busier the day before me, the more I need to take the time to spend some with Jesus.
I find it amazing that just changing my reason for reading the Word has transformed the way it speaks to me. Many days I just open the Book and start reading, looking for that nugget. Often I am shocked when a verse I read addresses an issue that I am dealing with that very minute. Also, some days reading a verse I’ve read hundreds of times in my life speaks to me on a whole new level. Guess that’s why the Bible is called a living document. I have definitely slowed in my quest for growing my relationship with my best friend JESUS, and as odd as it seems that has been just the ticket for going deeper in our relationship. Wish I could say the same for my driving.