Zechariah 1:3 – Therefore say thou unto them, "Thus saith the Lord of hosts; 'Turn ye unto me, saith the Lord of hosts, and I will turn unto you, saith the Lord of hosts.'" (KJV)
Malachi 3:7 – Even from the days of your fathers ye are gone away from mine ordinances, and have not kept them. Return unto me, and I will return unto you, saith the Lord of hosts. (KJV)
One night recently I needed to deliver a message to someone down the road, and on my way back, I decided to take a detour up through the inside of our subdivision, walking paths long left behind from days when my daughter and I delivered papers.
It isn't that our subdivision is so overly huge, it is that the inside roads are narrower and don't really lend themselves to walking its pathways with one's pets. Plus, people we knew had long since passed on, so we just seemed to stay on the outer periphery.
I'd once written a devotional titled The Peripheral Shopper, trying to tie in my shopping habits as one who prefers to shop the outer edges of a supermarket (which contain the fresh produce and unpackaged goods) to my spiritual preferences as one who liked to partake in things offered by, but outside, the church.
The idea perhaps was good; the editor and I just couldn't seem to agree on what would make it jell.
Last night's walk make it all a little more clear. It was dark, and one home had many lovely little lights illuminating the outer edges and walkway. Another home had the most interesting landscape — the shrubs had been carefully and meticulously shaped into tinier little bushes. Somewhere an architect can lay claim to the smooth-flowing structure now occupying a previously empty lot. A basketball hoop holds its head high on the driveway where the now passed-on friends of my parents used to live.
By stepping back into the subdivision, I was shown how much more my life has been enriched by stepping back into the church. Most of all have been my weekly prayer meetings; then there was participation in a continuous Bible reading; and sitting silent for segments of time from Maundy Thursday until Easter Sunday. Carols crooned in Hawaiian on a beautiful Boxing Day Sunday, and midnight mass with the temperature 20 below outside in the snow both added to my enrichment.
Prayer: Thank you, Father, for guiding us to step sometimes inside renewed territory, when we take the time to step outside ourselves. In your name we give the praise and the glory. Amen.