Shotgun

“They rejoice in your name all day long; they celebrate your righteousness.” Psalm 89:16 (NIV)

Three words stick out to me about this verse… all day long. Frequent church-goers often hear about “rejoicing in the Lord” (“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!” Philippians 4:4), but have you ever thought about what it means to rejoice in the Lord all day long?

It’s easy to think about rejoicing in the Lord each day. At some point throughout your day you take time to pray and thank the Lord for all that He has given you and for the blessings He provides. But rejoicing in Him all day long is a whole different way of living.

Thinking this through reminded me of an illustration my dad used to tell me. My dad had a 30 minute commute to work each morning. Since he drove by himself most days, the young extroverted “me” imagined his drive as a grueling, torturous experience (my older self now realizes how 30 minutes of quiet each morning could actually be refreshing). Nonetheless, I distinctly remember one day when I asked my dad about his commute and how he kept his sanity. His answer stuck with me.

“I don’t drive to work alone. God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit are with me the whole way there. Good thing I have four seats in my car.”

He went on to explain that his 30 minute commute to work allowed him to have a conversation every morning with the Lord, to take time to pray and ask God for guidance throughout his day. Jokingly, he even explained that sometimes he wonders which of the three in the trinity calls “shotgun”.

“Alyssa, even when there is not a person physically with you, you are never alone,” he explained. “God is always there, right by your side, and He wants to have a conversation with you all day long.”

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Until that point, I had never thought of my relationship with the Lord as an on-going conversation. But the older I get and as I grow spiritually, I am learning more each day about what it means to have this never-ending conversation.

Now that I am married, I can understand more of what my dad was talking about from an earthly perspective. Mike and I have an ongoing conversation throughout each day. I’m not saying that we are glued to our phones, but we usually touch base every couple of hours throughout our workday. We let each other know our plans, ask one another when we are unsure of a decision that needs to be made, keep one another accountable for daily quiet times, remind one other of items on a grocery list, but mostly we genuinely enjoy each other’s company. It’s comforting to know there is a touch of “Mike” everywhere I go.

I think the same should be said about our relationship with the Lord. We should touch base with Him throughout the day. He should be on our minds everywhere we go, with every decision we make, through every obstacle we face. We can lean on Him to keep us accountable, to guide us through the ups and downs and to help us to make decisions, even the small ones. Having an ongoing conversation with the Lord is not unreasonable, and from experience I can say that when the constant conversation is intentional, life is less stressful, the complicated aspects of the everyday are more clear, and joy that exudes from this becomes contagious. I also believe this is what the Lord desires from us. He wants to be a part of every part of our day. And the good part is? We always have 100% of God’s attention. He’s never to busy for a conversation.

Rejoicing in the Lord all day long isn’t a biblical typo (nor is anything else in the Bible). He meant it. He wants us to rejoice in Him, to include Him in every part of our day, to take part in an ongoing conversation all day long. So as you go throughout your day, make an intentional effort to let Christ take shotgun.