Rest, and put down what you are doing. Now reflect on what your mind was pondering? What were your hands working on? Were you divided between your thoughts and your work?
Psalm 24:1-4 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
Of David. A Psalm.
The earth is the Lord’s and all that is in it,
the world, and those who live in it;
for he has founded it on the seas,
and established it on the rivers.
Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord?
And who shall stand in his holy place?
Those who have clean hands and pure hearts,
who do not lift up their souls to what is false,
and do not swear deceitfully.
Lift up your head from your work; take moments from time to time to reflect on what you are doing. Allow your inward thinking to come out and be present with your working hands. Sometimes our thoughts are under pressure, and we find the flow difficult to cut-off once freed. For this reason, we often keep the gates of our minds closed so we can stay focused on the outside.
Lift up your heads, you gates; lift them up, you ancient doors,
that the King of glory may come in. Who is he, this King of glory?
The Lord Almighty — he is the King of glory. (v. 9&10)
Gates regulate or forbid passage, but if the doorway becomes restricted, pressure may build when outside and inside become separated. We ‘lower the gates’ to stop the outward flow or block-off what is coming in. A closed door is just another part of a wall. But think! What struggles outside your walls and what hides within are each a part of your whole being. We often divide ourselves in such ways believing it will help us cope, but we only create two false identities of inner and outer selves; both are always less than the whole self.
Lift up our heads, lift our gates, and open our doors— a King comes to enter. This King is able to protect all of us, for everything belongs to him. Trust the King of glory, for he is the Almighty. Under his rule the doors stay open; with gates raised we are whole. He will comfort what is tender inside even as he takes us boldly outward over the tumult of changing waters. Under his protection, we ascend his mountain and stand in his holy place.
O Lord my King, may I be mindful today when pressures rise within or without that you be my strong and mighty defender. When I make false idols of my own life by dividing myself in two, relying on myself and not on you, may I remember to look up, open the doors to my heart, and allow my King to enter. Clean me, purify me, that my whole soul may know the peace of Christ, who is the ancient of days, the only gate of my salvation. Amen.
Go with God!