So our dear friends, Ron and Judy Levan invited us to go Elk hunting!
Um… not the kind with a gun, but rather with binoculars and cameras.
So early one morning we arrive at their home half asleep and head up to Estes Park in search of some Elk action. Now we’re so new to Colorado any sight of a wild animal is exciting to us! But I tell you the best part of this trip wasn’t found in observing mating rituals (though the young bucks sparring and the coyote lurking nearby was pretty neat!) but in the company on the trip.
One of my new friends, Lisa and her husband Tom decided to spontaneously join us ~ are we ever glad they did! I cannot even begin to tell you how blessed I felt sitting in the back of their van listening to Judy and Lisa share. I’m thinking according to Proverbs 13:20a I had to be getting wiser by the minute!
(and a big praise to God – He knew the only way I’d ever be able to endure sitting in a car for most of a day was to give me a radical workout in advance- and did he ever! I climbed Mt. Bierstadt, a 14er, the day before with three other friends so my blisters, sore muscles and every other part of me was content as anything to spend that whole day sitting!!!)
So while we’re driving Lisa shares how she’s been learning that forgiveness needs to be a daily discipline. And it was like a lightbulb went off in my head! I’d never thought of forgiveness as a discipline, let alone a daily one. But she’s so right. In this broken, fallen world – rarely does a day pass that there isn’t someone whom I need to forgive – even if it’s just myself! But it can be so easy to not process this…
Suddenly we start on some seriously curvy mountain roads and I don’t usually get carsick but my stomach starts encouraging me to stop talking and start drawing, hoping if I focus I won’t toss any cookies! And with Lisa’s words fresh in my mind I started considering what would it look like if I really did this? If I really saw and practiced forgiveness as a daily discipline?
Now the Lord’s already been teaching me that confession and gratitude should also be considered disciplines – because without concerted effort they often don’t happen the way they should! And as I drew the thought came to mind, “To finish well, I need to end each day well, practicing the daily disciplines of confession, forgiveness and gratitude!”
Now I’ve never been a very good finisher. I get so excited about new ideas, new projects, new adventures…. (catch that common word “new?!”) Often before one is completed I’m already excited about something else. So ever since I became a Christian Psalm 27:4 has held a special place in my prayers.
“One thing I ask from the Lord,
this only do I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
all the days of my life,
to gaze on the beauty of the Lord
and to seek him in his temple.”
Only by the grace of God am I ever going to finish this life well! Yet He tells us, he who is faithful in little will be faithful in much. (Luke 16:10)
So can you guess what I’m now asking the Lord to give me the grace to do?!