Saturday, February 5, 2011

Stew, Anyone?

On an cold wet day like the ones we've had lately, what could be better than a bowl of hot stew, maybe with a big hunk of crusty baguette? Sounds like comfort food to me. Shall I set a bowl for you?

I think there's another reason I've had stew on the brain the last week or so. The folks over at Smyth & Helwys asked me to write a series of devotionals for their Reflections guide a month or so ago, (yey!) and the ten scripture passages recently arrived in my inbox. I'm LOVING the whole writing process, mostly because it's reminding me of the mysterious way God can teach me when I allow God some thought-time in my day. If I had to invent a name for the method, it'd be easy. STEW!

First and most important step?
Just manage to read the verses at some point each day.
That's like assembling the ingredients, dumping God's words into the crockpot, and setting the switch on low.

On good days, the words stay in the background on the kitchen counter of my brain, and as I go through the hours, their aromas swirl, bringing out the flavors of God's message hidden within conversations and images, within mundane chores or memories. Sometimes even within a story I hear at the grocery store or a random thought in the carpool line.

I wish it always worked that way.

Some days I manage to read, but then I get swept into the tornado of the day. The words sit frozen in the pot. I'm too busy to let myself entertain open passage between my spirit and God's. I focus on my own words and nothing simmers. No aroma. No tender morsels. Just a tough cut of meat and raw potatoes. No comfort there.

Other days I put bad things in the pot. Instead of God's promises, I stew on worries and fears. I pile them on top of each other, and set the temp on high. I stand by the pot and wait for them to bubble up. I breathe in the smell, even when it makes me cough.
When I start dining on fear, I push aside love and don't even know it!
I focus on getting my share. On what if's.
It's not pretty, y'all.

But stew done right?
Tastes great. More filling!
I really must ask God to help me get better at doing this every day. To help me not be so consumed by busyness that I shut out God's voice as He/She tries to speak.

What about you? Is stew part of your daily diet?
I wish God's best love-stew to you!

Photo by Jess Gambacurta, creative commons