We know that in order to journey, it is necessary to go or move from one place to another. The options for how we do this have certainly increased over the past couple of hundred years and particularly in the last century. When I first visited the Christa Sevika Sangha Convent at Jobapar, (part of the Oxford mission in Bangladesh) in 1992, we had to travel overnight by ferry from Dhaka to Barisal, from there two hours by bus to a small town and then by rickshaw for over an hour to near the Convent and then we had to walk the last leg of the journey! By 1998 we were able to drive all the way from Dhaka (with a few ferry crossings en route!), to just outside the Convent compound!
So from Journey it seems logical to move to TRAVEL! We will consider it letter by letter as follows: T for Time, R for Rest, A for Always, V for Venture, E for Eternal, and L forLove.
DAY 5: T for Time
Begin with a couple of minutes of stillness and silence, to let go of the things on your mind and to become aware of God’s presence.
READ Hosea 10:12 (NIV)
Sow righteousness for yourselves, reap the fruit of unfailing love, and break up your unploughed ground; for it is time to seek the Lord, until he comes and showers his righteousness on you.
When I first came to faith, I went to St Nicholas Church in the centre of Nottingham. As I was new to Nottingham, I went one day on a short guided walking tour of the city. When we got to St Nicholas Church the guide stopped and asked us to look at the building and comment on anything significant that we saw…………..though there were various suggestions from the group, no one mentioned the key fact that he wanted us to observe. Namely that the clock, on the clock tower, was inscribed with part of the verse above – It is time to seek the Lord. Apparently it was rare to have Bible inscriptions on clock towers. While I have not forgotten that occasion, it is the verse that has struck a lasting chord within me.
We all know that we all have an equal number of hours in a day, and we know that time for the Lord is a crucial ingredient in our journey of faith. Yet at times, the roles and responsibilities we have, can place pressure on us to complete the daily round of activities and tasks and time for God can be marginalized.
This verse encourages us to sow righteousness, so that we will reap the fruit of unfailing love and a deliberate move towards increased intimacy with the Lord will result in preparing our hearts to receive showers of his righteousness and blessing.
Choose a word, phrase, or even the whole verse to silently ponder on. Turn it over and over in your mind and see what God will show you through it.
Pray over the insights you gained from pondering on this verse and be thankful. Close with the Lord’s Prayer.
Carry your chosen word/phrase/verse into the day with you and repeat it at intervals during the day.
Make a note of the insights you gained from this verse in your journal.