Week 43 Wednesday

Looking Up

Today’s scripture selection: Psalms 122-124

Key verse: Psalm 123:1

“Unto thee I lift up mine eyes, O thou that dwellest in the heavens.”

I can’t say that I live in the middle of a technological whirlwind – at least not exactly.

I don’t live in a big city.  I still use an old laptop, which has an operating system that is pretty outdated.  I prefer typing to swiping.  I still like to read a book.  I’m not “opposed” to electronic/social media like some I know.  I have plenty of e-books in my library.  It’s just that I still like to sit down and flip open something with real pages in it.  And, when it comes to needing help with my computer; my smart phone; my i-this and i-that – I – am first in line.

So, as I say, I am not exactly on the “cutting edge” of technology.

Maybe that is why I feel a little information overloaded sometimes.  And why I rub my eyes, now and then, and have to turn off the electronic device I have been staring at too long.

That’s at least part of the reason that I feel the need to look elsewhere – specifically – “up”.

“Unto thee I lift up mine eyes, O thou that dwellest in the heavens.”

At times like that, these words are music to my ears.

To look up – if not literally, at least spiritually speaking, and seek God’s “countenance” again (to use an old-fashioned word.)

It gives me peace to put my phone on silence; close my laptop; turn down the lights; sometimes even light a candle (of all things!)

And just be in the presence of the living God.

It’s a whole different kind of “vision” in a highly “visually oriented” age.

And I highly recommend it.

Prayer: Lord, I lift up my eyes, to you.  Thank you for your abiding, loving presence.  Amen.

By Paul Simrell

The Reverend Paul W. Simrell has served for over thirty years in a variety of congregational and institutional settings. He is a recognized minister with standing in the Virginia region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada and is nationally endorsed by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for specialized ministry in both pastoral counseling and chaplaincy. Ordained in 1982, he has served congregations in Kentucky, Texas, Florida, and Virginia. He currently serves as the pastor of Elpis Christian Church, a small, historic congregation located just a few miles west of Richmond, Virginia. Elpis is the Greek word meaning “expectant hope.” He also serves on the associate clinical staff of the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care, Richmond, Virginia, both as a pastoral counselor and a ministerial assessment specialist, specializing in executive, clergy and relationship coaching. He is a graduate of the University of Florida and Lexington Theological Seminary and has done advanced clinical training in chaplaincy and pastoral counseling at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky, Children’s Medical Center and Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas and the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care in Richmond, Virginia. He is a Certified Pastoral Counselor, an ACPE Practitioner, and a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors. He is a Certified Facilitator of the Prepare-Enrich relationship assessment and skills-building program and served as a volunteer chaplain for over twenty years with the CJW Medical Center campuses in Richmond, Virginia. His avocational interests include playing the piano and drawing. He is very happily married to his wife Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell, a free-lance writer, who is also a Certified Facilitator for the Prepare-Enrich program. Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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