You know how some brave and determined souls challenge themselves to swim across the English Channel? Or, how about those who endeavor to climb Mt. Everest? While I'm not comparing myself to those remarkable humans at all, I do feel like I've decided to run my first marathon.
When you hear the starter pistol, you're all smiles, running in the crowd, with people cheering you on. It's exciting. Exhilarating. You're running for a good cause, and you feel a sense of purpose.
Then the pack opens up. The further you run the fewer runners you see around you. You get thirsty, but there aren't as many drink stations as there were near the start of the race. The spectators are also thinning out. They put their signs away, and go about their regular routines for the day as you continue to plod along...alone.
Will anyone notice if you take a detour to the nearest air-conditioned coffee shop to take a rest? Will anyone care if you decide not to finish the race, but instead hop on a bus to go home...where your comfy couch is calling your name? Would anyone notice or care? Probably not. But, that's beside the point.
The point is that you've challenged yourself to complete something that's important to you, and you cannot let yourself down. You can't give up on yourself. And, you can't disappoint whoever might be waiting for you at the finish line.
For me, this marathon is the pledge I made to God and myself to not just read the Scriptures every day this year, but also to write about the experience...every single day (except for the 7th day of rest). I started off excited and exhilarated. I'm still excited to read every day. It's the daily writing that's starting to feel like weights around my ankles.
But, I know that I'm building up spiritual muscles. In keeping my word to God and myself, I'm also building up trust in our relationship. I trust Him, but I want Him to be able to trust me, too. I need to know that I can finish this race, so I keep running. I keep writing. And, when I get to the finish line, I know there will be at least One person waiting for me with open arms. It is for the Lord that I keep putting one foot in front of the other.
Day 26 - Exodus 28-29 and Psalms 26
With that said, today's chapters left a picture in my mind that I've never had of the Lord before. I saw him as an artistic genius with a paint brush or maybe even sculptor's tools. It was as if His excitement continued to build with each finely tailored detail of His priests' clothing.
It occurred to me that He saw the priests as special, like precious jewels. He went to great lengths to properly prepare them. After making sure they were washed clean, He meticulously dressed them from head to toe in the finest of linen. He wrapped their heads in turbans, crowning them like kings.
He poured fragrant oils over them, and set them apart from the rest. With blue and purple and gold, they must have been the picture of royalty. They had to be dressed to the nines if they were going to represent God to the masses, I suppose.
But then, in their very best Kingdom clothes, they were splashed with the blood of sacrificial animals. They had to cut off their heads and gut them like fish. They had to get down deep and cut the fat off the intestines. They had to burn the dung. The smell must have been putrid! The picture in my mind has gone from elegant to horrified in less than a minute. Why, Lord? Why?
Is this a depiction of what mankind did to your beautiful Creation? You designed and hand-crafted the most beautiful Garden, then placed man in it. The entire picture was so gorgeous, so pure. It was like freshly washed and line-dried linen.
Then some kind of beast trampled it with muddy hooves. With one act of selfishness, in one act of defiance, man pulled back a fist and bloodied the nose of Your beautiful Creation. Is that what happened, Lord? Is that what’s being depicted here?
Then, the Scriptures say that you found pleasure in the aroma of burning flesh. Why, Lord? Why? Could it be that the burning animal flesh and blood were a representation of sin burning in hell? Is that what's being depicted here?
I'm thankful for all the questions that pop into my head as I run this marathon. They encourage me to keep going, even when the finish line is so far off that I cannot see it. So, I keep pushing when it feels like I'm hitting a wall because I'm just fascinated by the chapters I read each day. Aren't you?
If you're hitting a wall, too, please feel free to comment below, or by visiting my Facebook page.
*Welcome to my one-year trip around the world of Scripture. You’re invited to take this journey with me, as I meditate on God’s Word day and night. Each morning, you’ll find a post on my Facebook page encouraging my new #Biblebuddies along the way. And each night, I’ll be writing my impressions right here at listen2leslie.com. I’d love it if you’d share your comments, to spark some fruitful discussion. The only passport you’ll need for this journey is the Read Scripture app which provides us with our daily itinerary. You’ll love this app because it contains videos by The Bible Project that serve as our tour guide. Traveling is so much better when you have someone to share the experience with, so please join me, will you?
(In case you were wondering, this blog is a labor of love for me.❤️ The links contained in my posts are NOT affiliate links. I include them in order to share with you the actual pages and apps I use during the course of my own personal journey. Money muddies the waters, and I like my water clear. Amen? 😉)