Getting to know you…

Many years ago, the extremely talented duo of Rogers and Hammerstein wrote a piece of music that keeps running through my head this morning.  It’s one of the songs from the musical The King and I called “Getting to Know You” and near the end, the lyrics say this:

Getting to know you
Getting to feel free and easy
When I am with you
Getting to know what to say

Haven’t you noticed
Suddenly I’m bright and breezy?
Because of all the beautiful and new
Things I’m learning about you
Day by day

I’ve been seriously entertained this morning because these words have been running through my brain…while I’ve been thinking about God.

As part of my getting back to basics around here, I’ve gone back to reading a chapter in Proverbs and a chapter in Psalms each morning as part of my devotional time.  Several days ago, I noticed something that I don’t remember noticing before. (Pardon me if this is old news to you!  grin)

One of my favorite scriptures from this section of Scripture—circled, starred and even underlined in purple!— says:

Wisdom is the principal thing; Therefore get wisdom. And in all your getting, get understanding. Proverbs 4:7

Every time I come to that verse, I’m completely stopped in my tracks and reminded that knowledge is great, but wisdom is even better—and it’s even more to the point that I should be pursuing wisdom instead of things.

Several chapters over, there is another Bible verse that is also underlined in purple which says:

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.”  Proverbs 9:10

Now, in my Bible, the first phrase of that verse is the last thing on one page and the second phrase is at the top of the next one after you turn the page.  Perhaps that’s why I’ve never had it hit me like this before.  Maybe I just took a breath and turned the page and started reading again instead of just putting those two things together.  Whatever the reason, as I read it again this past Sunday morning, my brain finally connected these two phrases and these two verses—pages apart!–in a brand new way for me!

I’ve always known that was true (after all, it is in God’s Word and He can’t lie!), but I think I’ve heard more sermons on the first part of that last verse than the second.  In fact, I can’t count the number of times I’ve heard pastors and teachers just focus on that first phrase as they explained that the word “fear” here, in fact, means to reverence or to give proper respect to God.  Yes, He is all powerful and yes, that can be scary to think about…right up until you get to know Him and find out who He is and how He plans to use that power.

So, did you see it?  Put together, those two verses say this (Becky translation):  Wisdom is the main thing, so go get you some of that…and while you’re getting that, get you some understanding because putting God in His proper place in your life is just the start of wisdom and getting to know who God is personally and having a real relationship with Him, now that is understanding—and that’s the most important thing.

Having a relationship with God is far more than just being aware of Him or being afraid of what He’ll decide to do next.  In fact, once you get to know Him really well, that fear-thing isn’t even a factor anymore because you’ll discover that He loves you more than you could ever imagine and He’s got some really great things to show you about how to use this one wonderful life that you’ve been given. So,

Getting to know you
Getting to feel free and easy
When I am with you
Getting to know what to say

Haven’t you noticed
Suddenly I’m bright and breezy?
Because of all the beautiful and new
Things I’m learning about you
Day by day

Yes, that’s the truth about getting to know God better.  Hmm…I wonder if Rogers and Hammerstein ever read Proverbs?

(and yes, I did get the irony that this song is from The KING and I!  smile! God has a great sense of humor!  Make sure you find that out for yourself.)

Back to new basics

“A rut is a grave with both ends kicked out.”  –Mama

I’ve heard her say that all my life…and she’s probably not far from the truth.  After all, getting in a rut means you’ve done the same thing over and over and over for so long that you probably don’t even have to think anymore about what to do next.  While there’s something to be said for consistency, I’m not a great fan of mindless task-doing.  Over the past 6 months or so, however, I’ve had the opportunity to begin longing, not for a rut, but a schedule.  I love the order that comes of doing things in rhythm and creating a pattern of behavior that helps me feel settled and at ease.

Now, that doesn’t mean that the behavior has to be mindless, but it does mean that once the mundane items are marked off the to-do list, there will be more brainpower available to be directed toward more creative endeavors…and I have really missed being able to do that.

I’m looking forward to creating new rhythms for this place.  I’m looking forward to creating new friendships and creating new opportunities, new plantings and new views, new words, new art and new thoughts.  I’ve missed having the time to write and the number of blog posts that have been written mentally in the dark and gone unpublished are more than I’d like to think about.

I’ve actually had a schedule of sorts over the last few months:  travel, unpack, pack, travel, unpack (repeat, repeat, repeat…) and I guess what I’m trying to say is that I’m ready to change the tasks on the schedule.

Most of the things in the house have been unpacked to find new homes and those that haven’t are in boxes for donation or awaiting the arrival of new pieces before they can be placed in order.  It’s good to have an idea about where most of your stuff is and while the house is coming together nicely, the shop tells a different tale at present.  Oh, we’re making progress there, too, but it seems slow in coming, perhaps because it is finally spring—the season of new birth, new plants, new blooms, rebirth, resurrection and renewal—and I’m longing to get outside and revel in the absolute wonder of it all.  Oh, how I have longed for this season this year!

As I’ve been unpacking all of our accumulated stuff, I’m unpacking new thought processes, as well.  I’m slowly establishing patterns of behavior for this new place and finding that my heart is feeling right at home here as I do so.  I’ve created a “nest” for my morning time with God and have really enjoyed getting back into His Word in a deeper way.  I’ve acquired a new library card and located two libraries and a couple of garden nurseries nearby along with more than a few antique stores.  I’m settling in, but I’m not inclined to settle.  There’s something about this place that calls out for new things and that excites me.

Yes, I’m establishing new patterns and looking forward to new things…and I think I’ll plant some new bulbs in that old rut I had before.  Who knows?  Perhaps there’s still time to see them bloom this spring.