Words like “spirit”, “energy”, “intention”, “living water”–all these are rolling around in my head this morning. Can you tell I’ve been prepping for a series of sermons on the Holy Spirit? Who can tell all that goes into the creation of a mood, or a way of being on a particular day? Is it all just chemicals floating around, lack of sun, lack of good news, or conversely, the appearance of new circumstances and hope, and we go trotting off down the lane with renewed vigor?
Even non-religious types know what we mean when we talk about inner battles, battles of heart and spirit, or head vs. heart sorts of struggles. We know in our bones (and spirits) that we are a divided lot, tempted both toward bad and good, though “tempt” doesn’t work as well with “good.” Maybe we should use the word “invited” or “nudged” when we think of those impulses that suggest doing good things we might not normally do. But for those of us who are believers, we know that in the unseen world of our spirits, there is more going on than meets the eye.
This morning, I am clear-eyed, energized, and excited about what the day holds in a manner that seems wacky, frankly. I can only say that certain spiritual disciplines seem to pay off in moments. There’s no real direct one-to-one correspondence, but obedience does seem to lead to more life. “Rivers of living water” is how John has Jesus describe the life in the Spirit, and though I’m pretty sure we can’t always tell when those waters are flowing with speed, there are days like today when there is little question that waters are in motion that were not yesterday. There is no formula, but the practice of awareness, self-denial, obedience…these things seem to lead in just the direction scripture suggests. “He who loses his life for my sake will find it.”
I am thankful, and will proceed as if God is involved in the day, partnering with me in figuring out just what He has in mind for the words I will speak on Sunday, as well as the direction He’s pointing for all my life.
How about you?