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Two moments. Two different readings. Same idea. Both caused me to stop and consider.

#1. Psalm 130:5 - I will wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I put my hope.

#2. Henri Nouwen - "There is seldom a period in which we do not know what to do, and we move through life in such a distracted way that we do not even take the time and rest to wonder if any of the things we think, say, or do are worth thinking, saying, or doing. We simply go along with the many "musts" and "oughts" that have been handed to us, and we live with them as if they were authentic translations of the Gospel of our Lord."

Ouch.

Spring break is Godly. I say this because without it, many of us student types would study until our brains imploded (or exploded) resulting in...well, a mess. For me, this break was a forced one. I had to make myself put my new textbooks back on the shelf and reach for "Twilight" to flush my brain of last quarter's readings and not "get ahead". I went to bed later than I should have, and let the kids run around the house freely for an hour before I got myself out of bed in the morning - not just once, but for most of the week. And in those moments of laying there doing nothing, I wondered, "Shouldn't I be doing something?"

I did some cleaning, some music searching and listening, and explored my new neighborhood (which btw, is amazing...I found some nice trails up to OHSU). I also did some songwriting, which is how I happened upon Psalm 130.

I will wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I put my hope.

Waiting. This implies patience. Maybe even determined perseverance. And, wow. That sounds like work. And I'm on break.

But here's the thing. God was nudging me. It's like not drinking water for so long that you're past the feeling of thirst - it's something you've just learned to live with and expect - you don't remember the taste or feel of water. It's like being in a desert for so long, you forgot what the color green looked like. Hearing from God, for me, was like that. And honestly, in my own desire to not be one of those emotive Christians who felt everything, I was trying to balance experience with understanding and knowledge. (But you know how pendulums are. Swing one direction...and there you go swinging wide the other.) Anyhow, Psalm 130 crept up on me and reminded me of my own thirst and confronted my belief. Can I really experience God? I have the Bible, but does God speak to me? Were my previous experiences "collective effervescence" (when I'm with others) or a self-induced emotional made-up thing in my head (when I am alone)?

I will wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I put my hope.

These are the words of someone who knew that there was only one source of hope. And they would wait until they heard from that source. This need wasn't the kind of need that was satisfied from yesterday's words or even words spoken in that one great moment of the past. This was written by someone who believed that the Lord would speak today - and in those words there would be hope. Wow. To consider that in my place of emptiness or brokenness or doubt (or joy or peace or...) God could speak - here and now - and give me hope. It's limitless and personal all at once.

Two things happened. I wanted hear God (faith and acknowledgement of need) and I was aware that much of what I was doing to distract myself from my "thirst" was not noble or worthy, but simply stuffing.

There is so much more to say (when God acts, there are so many layers - His word reverberates throughout time and space) but I will close with this wonderful thought.

God loves. He speaks. And He gives us hope. Let us pause and consider a God who we can wait for, whose words give us life, and is speaking to us.