The writing on the wall

January 24, 2012 | My Jottings

Have you ever tied a string around your finger to remind you of something important? I don’t know how that tradition got started, and while I’ve certainly needed help remembering things a lot these past couple of years, I’ve never tried the string method. Instead, I write myself notes and reminders on my day planner. Lots of them.

Sometimes right before dropping off to sleep at night I’ll suddenly think of something I need to do or someone I should call the next day, but I don’t want to get up and go downstairs to write it on my day planner. So I’ll reach over in the dark to turn the little cardinal figurine on my nightstand on its side, or put a piece of Kleenex on the floor in an odd way to jog my memory the next morning. So far I haven’t tried the novel idea of having a pen and paper handy on my nightstand — maybe I’ll try that next time.

But I have need of a reminder much more permanent than a string on a finger or a strategically placed tissue. Every day I need to be reminded that my life is a gift, and that my very breath comes from God. I need to remember that I belong to Him, and that I have been created and placed here for His good purposes. Too often I get up in the morning with a selfish bent toward my own vain choices, and a distressing habit of wandering away from Him.

These prayerful words from the song “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing” could have been penned for me:

O to grace how great a debtor
Daily I’m constrained to be!
Let Thy goodness, like a fetter,
Bind my wandering heart to Thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love;
Here’s my heart, O take and seal it,
Seal it for Thy courts above.

(words by Robert Robinson – 1758)

So each morning when I come downstairs to start my day, I am greeted by these words on our kitchen wall:

It’s a fairly large graphic, in blue and metallic silver letters, and I put it there as the most important reminder of all. The words are from Micah 6:8, which says:

He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.

On any given day my day planner might read something like this:

– reconcile banking statement to ledger

– crockpot ingredients in at 10:00 a.m.

– bills in mail

– make dental appointment

– filing

– state paperwork for Fosters completed

– birthday card to Denel

– work on tests for training

– clean out master bedroom closet

– return library books

– pick up prescriptions

– wash bathroom floors

And this list would represent a fairly quiet day.

But no matter what’s on my to-do list, nothing really productive will be accomplished unless I first pay attention to the writing on the wall.

It’s pretty amazing how differently things usually go in my day, if I will just try to walk humbly with my God.

(from the archives….)


  1. Ember says:

    I really love that! x

  2. Just Julie says:

    God bless your week, Ember… Xxoo

  3. Roberta says:

    Considering how often I say to myself that there is nothing I desire more than to draw closer to God, I’m afraid that just as often I allow myself to get caught up, on first waking, with the selfish concerns you mentioned. Then, I often get involved in lamenting that fact, which occupies more time, sending me down the wrong road, rather than on my Way. I’m thinking of developing a similar “string around my finger”, because my attention seems to need capturing!
    Thanks for your own honesty, and helpfullness, as always.

  4. Just Julie says:

    I think what you’ve described is more common than we might think, Roberta. I relate to what you shared so well! Will you let me know what “string” you choose?

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