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Sunday, August 10, 2014

Spirit of God, descend upon my heart;
wean it from earth; through all its pulses move;
stoop to my weakness, mighty as thou art,
and make me love as I ought to love.

George Croly’s “Spirit of God, Descend upon My Heart”
from Glory to God: The Presbyterian Hymnal

As a rule, I’m not really a “stop and smell the roses” kind of person. Meditation makes me antsy. Silence drives me nuts. At any given moment, I’m probably working off of no fewer than three to-do lists. While working on this devotion
I have also written a poem, gotten coffee, read the news, and brainstormed for an upcoming sermon. Most of the time I like my tendency to keep busy. It means
I can manage chaos and work well under pressure. And in a big city like Chicago and a big church like Fourth Church, I suspect that I’m in good company. It’s certainly true that being a highly busy achiever is very valued in our culture today.

But these words from this hymn remind us that sometimes being so focused on the tasks of a busy life can make us lose sight of what really matters. We get caught up in our endless lists and overstuffed schedules and all the details of earthly life and forget about the One who gives us this life (and all its details) in the first place. Closer to us and more important that any to-do list or project is the God who has sculpted our hearts and is with us in every heartbeat. Even while we are caught up in our daily living, God is with us and reminds us that our first and most important task is to love.

Gracious God, help us to remember that it is in you that we live and move and have our being. In the chaos of life, center us around your will, and remind us that love is our most holy gift and responsibility. Amen.

Written by Layton Williams, Pastoral Resident

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