“When the Lord your God brings you into the land He swore to your fathers…a land with large, flourishing cities you did not build, houses filled with all kinds of good things you did not provide, wells you did not dig, and vineyards and olive groves you did not plant–then when you eat and are satisfied, be careful that you do not forget the Lord…” (Deuteronomy 6:10-12)
It’s morning…MONDAY morning…and that’s a good thing. On the whole, I tend to be one of those annoying people who likes mornings…and Monday mornings in particular. There’s something about getting started with a new work week – with all of its projects and possibilities – that I find energizing. And even when some of the prospects for the week are stress-inducing, Monday morning gives me a chance to affirm: “‘Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far” – and grace can be trusted to bring me home.
But there is this challenge. Regardless of whether the week ahead looks to be full of productivity and blessing – or full of challenge and heartache – the very fact that I’m able to sit here and contemplate such things is a pretty good sign that I’m the recipient of unfathomable, undeserved goodness. My life – with all of its joys AND with all of its hardships – is built upon the efforts and sacrifices of others: parents and teachers, friends and colleagues, countless men and women who labor to provide the goods and services upon which I rely, and most of all the Savior who sacrificed everything so that I could be included in God’s family. And yet, it can be all too easy to forget that.
In the passage quoted above from today’s Daily Office, the children of Israel stood on the brink of a new beginning. Behind them lay the miraculous deliverance of God, and before them lay both the hardship of entering a new land and the promise of enjoying its bounty. But still, they had to be reminded: “Be careful that you do not forget the Lord.” Remember that this is all a gift.
I don’t know what you’re facing this Monday morning. But perhaps this reminder can be as meaningful for you as it is for me: Don’t forget the Lord. His goodness lies behind us. His promise lies in front of us. And most of all, His presence is with us- to guide us through every blessing and every challenge that the week ahead might hold.