Monday, October 12, 2009

Practice, Practice, Practice

My Mom often corrected the cliché “practice makes perfect” by saying “practice makes permanent.” Repetition forms deep ruts in the soil of hearts. The older I get the greater my appreciation grows for the thinking patterns God used my parent's often repeated words to form in my soul.

Some of my mom’s favorites:

“If you don’t prove yourself faithful in the little things, God will not trust you with the big things.”

“…as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

“We make plans, but God directs our steps.”

Or the line of my dad’s that rings loudly as I gaze over my mess…

“The condition of your room indicates the condition of your heart.”

These words, and many more like them, are the places to which my mind drifts as the frustrations of the day mount – their words so often echo through the darkness when I am frustrated, struggling or confused.




Studying children’s learning processes opened my eyes to the power of intentionally cultivating soul habits. I’ve reflected with deep gratitude over the habits of mind that Mom and Dad gifted to me.

As I have prayed about how to use my few minutes on Wednesdays to cultivate in the Beauty Hunters soul-habits that will draw their eyes to Jesus, the Lord has been giving me insights into the purpose and gift of liturgy. Deemed dull, repetitious and even mind-numbing by much of the contemporary church, many of these rich, oft repeated truths represent centuries of soul training tools for Christ followers.

Paul Goble, in a book entitled Song of Creation, sets a prayer from The Book of Common Prayer in beautiful illustration. Page after beautiful page calls out for Creation to “bless you the Lord: praise him, and magnify him forever.”




In class on Wednesday I used the book for a little game. I read the first line: “O all you works of the Lord, bless you the Lord.” Then we jumped from our chairs, threw our hands into the air and exuberantly proclaimed “praise him, and magnify him forever.” I read the verse, together we declared the joyous refrain and repeated this pattern nearly 30 times calling for ice and snow, foul and fish, lightning and clouds to join us in praising our Lord.

I was hooked! Here was a tool that we could use on our Creation explorations, our Beauty Hunts, to remind ourselves over and over again that every aspect of Creation was designed to sing the praises of the one who has called us out of darkness and into his marvelous light! We can even make up our own verses:

“Oh you splendid red berries, bless you the Lord: praise and magnify him forever.”






"Oh you lovely changing tree, bless you the Lord: praise and magnify him forever.”




"Oh you beautiful little friend, bless you the Lord: praise and magnify him forever.”







"Oh you tiny pinecone, bless you the Lord: praise and magnify him forever.”



If we faithfully practice repeating this refrain on our walks and in our conversations, if every delightful aspect of Creation we behold becomes a new verse in the song, if we play the joyful game, might you O Lord, graciously plant the seed of the habit of praise permanently in the souls of these little ones?

Ps 107:8
Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness,
and for his wonderful works to the children of men!


Ps 107:15
Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness,
and for his wonderful works to the children of men!


Ps 107:21
Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness,
and for his wonderful works to the children of men!


Ps 107:31
Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness,
and for his wonderful works to the children of men!

1 comment:

  1. therusceakfamily@gmail.comOctober 13, 2009 at 12:01 AM

    Little eyes that see He is good!
    Little ears that hear his Word of Truth!
    Touches that go out deep but sit in the palm of His hand...wonderful.

    He is wonderful!
    Thanks,
    Wendy R.

    ReplyDelete