The Fields Preached Me a Sermon
“I passed by the field of the sluggard and by the vineyard of the man lacking sense, and behold it was completely overgrown with thistles; its surface was covered with nettles, and its stone wall was broken down. When I saw, I reflected upon it; I looked and received instruction….” Proverbs 24:30-32
“Reflected” jumps out to me in those verses. He “passed by” the field but then he saw and reflected and looked and received instruction. The posture I normally take is to pass by. I dismiss, disregard, forget, ignore and neglect. I’m like the person who lacks sense, overgrown with thistles and broken down. But I don’t want to be that person. On my best days I want to consider, contemplate, ruminate, stew and weigh. My best days are few, however, and mixed in with mostly average days and some bad days.
How can I be like this wise soul and reflect and receive much-needed instruction? It’s likely that this level of awareness is only available through discipline and training of thought (bother). I want a quick sugar high of relational good feelings with God but to develop a healthy, well-balanced, deep relationship takes intentionality and sacrifice. Jeremiah 15:16 says, “Thy words were found and I ate them. And Your words became for me a joy and the delight of my heart.” Finding these words and chewing them, savoring them, stewing on them brings joy and delight in my heart that is lasting. No sugar high but the prolonged sustenance of the meat of the Word.
Not to change the subject but…are you a journaler? Apparently that isn’t a word, spell check can’t find it… I’m a journaler-wanna-be. Journaling is, at its core: “The Fields Preaching Me a Sermon”. It’s a reflective discipline on the thoughts, awareness, influences, reading and experiences of my life. It’s the regular, coming away to a quiet place, to be fed by the Good Shepherd.
Next year, in the format of Together 2018, with a loosely guided structure, we will travel on a year-long journaling journey together. Once, every two-month period, we will gather together for encouragement and instruction with opportunities to practice and share refreshments for the soul and body. The first two-month theme will be around The Proverbs but you are not limited to that area of study. Some possible journal venues are: art journaling, prayer journaling, reflective journaling on Scripture or other readings, inductive Bible study, letter writing, writing your story or stories within your story. The possibilities are unlimited! I’m looking for fellow journaler-wanna-be’s. I’m also looking for ladies who have a passion for journaling, have had some success with journaling, and would be willing to guide us in aspects of journaling. Weekly encouragement emails would be the primary venue for on-going instruction and your seasoned experience in soul healthwould be greatly appreciated!
Our group will be called “Manna: Food for Thought Journaling Group” As God provided the daily sustenance for the children of Israel while they were on their journey, we’re anticipating that our God will provide our daily need for Him and his Word in the coming year.
Visit the Grace Women’s page to learn more and sign up: gfcnow.com/women
Cheryl Bowers, Women’s Ministry Coordinator