Pause

Salt. Light. A wooden cross. A trembling voice. An untied rope. A song of praise.

These are humble signs of God's initiative in our world.

Open our eyes, Lord, that we may see.

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Listen

Shout loudly; don’t hold back; raise your voice like a trumpet! Announce to my people their crime, to the house of Jacob their sins. They seek me day after day, desiring knowledge of my ways like a nation that acted righteously, that didn’t abandon their God. They ask me for righteous judgments, wanting to be close to God. “Why do we fast and you don’t see; why afflict ourselves and you don’t notice?” Yet on your fast day you do whatever you want, and oppress all your workers. You quarrel and brawl, and then you fast; you hit each other violently with your fists. You shouldn’t fast as you are doing today if you want to make your voice heard on high. Is this the kind of fast I choose, a day of self-affliction, of bending one’s head like a reed and of lying down in mourning clothing and ashes? Is this what you call a fast, a day acceptable to the Lord?

Isaiah 58:1-5

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Think

It is difficult to read this passage from Isaiah and not feel convicted because, honestly, have I ever lived a day of my life that would be “acceptable to the LORD”? (vs. 5)

More than likely I have not. My days are spent in ways that are acceptable to me, where I draw the line and say to myself, “I have done enough.” No matter how I choose to start out, every day eventually finds me falling far short of doing anything that would please God. This is when despair can threaten to overcome me or anyone attempting to follow Christ; however, we must not give up hope because prayer can shine a light into that darkness.

Instead of giving up, we can take time to thank God for the opportunity to pray and repent, for the lessons behind our failures, and, perhaps most importantly, for each new day God gives us to try again.

Sarah H. Boatwright

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Pray

Thank you, God, for this new day. Please help me to respond to everything and everyone that comes my way today with joy and thanksgiving. Amen.

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Go

Our highest activity must be response, not initiative.

C.S. Lewis in The Problem of Pain (1940)

What is your response to God today?

Sarah Boatwright

Part-time writer, professor, and drummer and full-time mom and wife, Sarah H. Boatwright lives and works in Greenwood, South Carolina, where she tries to remember to be thankful for each new day.

Day by Day

Carter Harrell

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