You just never know where you are going to find words of wisdom. From a television program, I have learned that "You can't do everything, but you can do more than nothing." In other words, "Mary, you may not be able to fix the world, but how about helping one child at a time?" That thought got me started as a volunteer for CASA.
Every year I buy myself a Mary Engelbreit calendar. She has the brightest artwork and thought provoking quotes. One of my favorites is a quote from Marcel Proust: "The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes." I seem to remember hearing that somewhere else.
Psalm 119:18 -- Open my eyes that I may see
Psalm 121:1 -- I lift up my eyes to the hills - where does my help come from?
Luke 24:31 -- Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him
Ephesians 1:18-19 -- I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe.
Who would think a calendar page would send me to the scriptures?
Dear Lord, Open my eyes. Open the eyes of all who read this so they may see the world around them with new eyes. So all will recognize you and seek the riches you have for us. Amen.
Do you like to read? I do and one of my favorite authors is Dean Koontz. I just finished his book From the Corner of His Eye. Normally you would not think about finding any inspirational quotes or ideas from a Dean Koontz book, but two just jumped right off the pages of this book.
Agnes says, "Hope is the food of faith, the staff of life. Don't you think? When we don't allow ourselves to hope, we don't allow ourselves to have purpose. Without purpose, without meaning, life is dark. We've no light within, and we're just living to die."
Wow. Scriptures, here I come.
Psalm 42:5 -- Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.
Psalm 62:5 -- Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him.
Proverbs 23:18 -- There is surely a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off.
Romans 15:13 -- May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Hebrews 6:19-20 -- We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, where Jesus, who went before us, has entered on our behalf. He has become a high priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.
Dear Lord, With open eyes, we find hope when we are downcast and disturbed. We find this hope, this rest, in you alone. O, Lord, fill us with joy. With peace. With trust. With open eyes and the power of the Holy Spirit, we are firm and secure because Jesus is our anchor. Amen.
Also from this Dean Koontz book, an artist, Celestina, had just ended her first gallery showing. "By ones and twos, the festive crowd eventually deconstructed, but, for Celestina, an excitement lingered in the usual gallery hush that rebuilt in their wake."
I have a vivid imagination and can picture this. You try: Picture a room in your home. Now fill that room with people. Think about the room being noisy. Busy. A high level of energy that builds each time someone enters the room. During that time, the room takes on a new life as people move here and there. Now think about the evening winding down. First one person leaves and then another. Half are gone. Now only a few remain. Finally you close the door behind the last person and turn back into the room.
Did you hear the room sigh as it returned to normal? But then you look at a napkin dropped on the floor and remember the joke your best friend told. You straighten the pillows and feel concern for the neighbor whose mother is ill. Yes, everyone is gone, but each left something of themselves behind. "The usual hush rebuilt in their wake" but the room was not the same.
Bet you are wondering where this will send me. How about looking into a room with me.
Mark 14:13 -- Jesus sent two of his disciples
Mark 14:16 -- The disciples left, went into the city and found things just as Jesus had told them. So they prepared the Passover.
The disciples left and prepared a room for the Passover. This wasn't anything new. This was Jewish tradition so they prepared the room. A normal room. A normal Passover meal.
Now open your eyes and look at that room. The room is ready and soon Jesus is in the room with his disciples. Many things took place in that room that night. Many traditions were carried out. Startling and troubling conversations were had. Many things were said that the disciples did not understand. Then the evening ended. First Judas left. Then the others. The room was empty. The room could return to normal.
Do you see the water and towel? Do you see the lamb that had been eaten? Do you see the bread that had been broken? The cup? "The usual hush rebuilt in their wake" but the room was not the same.
My dear Lord, With open eyes and renewed hope, we look at the Upper Room. We look and we are not the same. Amen