There is something lovely about bookends. They help your books stand tall. They keep them together, and the bookshelf has an entirely different appearance of joy. When using bookends, the row of books get support on both ends.
Bookends provide a much needed structure to the books on our shelves. I also have my bookshelves arranged in rainbow color order, but this may be taking things too far ;-). I think we can learn a lesson from bookends when we are striving to grow in our relationship with God. What if we put bookends into our day?
What if we started and finished each day with God? No matter what ups and downs fill each day, we start with God and end with God. I believe this would help align and support us for everything that comes in between.
In 1 Chronicles 23, the Levites set an example for us of what this looks like.
"And they shall stand every morning thanking and praising the Lord, and likewise at evening." ~1 Chronicles 23:30
Deuteronomy 10:8 informs us that the Levites were set aside to "carry the ark of the covenant of the Lord, to stand before the Lord to minister to him and to bless in his name," God has set each and every one of us aside for specific purposes every day. As we strive to complete the work God has for us and live a life worthy of our individual and collective calling, we need to bookend.
So practically speaking, what does this look like? It looks like taking time to acknowledge God and sit in his presence at the beginning of each day and at the end of each day. Your length of time may vary depending on your schedule. You may have a very busy morning. However, what if you set aside just five minutes to be with God? Maybe, you have all the energy and focus in the world at the start of your day, but you can barely keep your eyes open at night? Choose your bookends based on what works best for you. You do not even have to do the same bookends every day. Just like there are several different types of bookends in the world. There are several ways to connect with God.
*Like the Levites, take a few moments to praise God for three or four things you have seen God bless you with recently. *Listen to Scripture as you get ready in the morning or wind down at night. Want to listen to the Bible in one year. Check out the One Year Bible Podcast. *Read some Scripture. *Pray over your day, about your day, or about the upcoming day. *Listen to praise music while you are driving to work or fixing breakfast, or making your bed (cause sometimes we need something to make that just a little more fun!) *Listen to hymns, with words or instrumental, as you wind down for the night. *Check out a podcast about God. If you want to dig into the details of Scripture check out The Bible Recap. This podcast also has a plan for reading the Bible in a year. Want to explore your prayer life? Check out Prayer In A Noisy World. *Start a Prayer Journal. I love the format of these, and I have been using them for the last five years. Also, there is a summer sale going on right now. However, there is no need for anything fancy, just grab a notebook and write to God. *Memorize a piece of Scripture. You can recite it every morning and/or evening until you have committed it to memory.
The possibilities of spending time with God are endless. So, this week, I challenge you to bookend each day with the Lord, and you will notice how it aligns you better for everything that comes in between.