Fill us at daybreak with your kindness, that we may shout for joy and gladness all our days. And may the gracious care of the LORD our God be ours; prosper the work of our hands for us! Prosper the work of our hands!
Have you ever navel gazed? I am serious in asking. Have you spent time, standing in the bathroom, or sitting on your bed, gazing at your belly button, your navel? What did you find? Sure, fuzzies. Maybe you considered whether you liked/disliked the look. Oh, I wish I had an innie or outie!
Thinking about this, we can see why the term ‘navel gazing’ is a perfect analogy for looking inward, for a failure to look up and out.
A ‘son of David, ’ a chronicler, assembled Ecclesiastes. Throughout the book we see the term ‘vanity’ coming up again and again. It is another one of those Hebrew words that has not been translated very well. The sense the author was trying to get across was about the sense of “emptiness, futility, and absurdity” we encounter when we spend our lives navel gazing, looking inward.
If we spend our lives looking inward, rather than outward, then we fulfil the writing: All [my] days sorrow and grief are [my] occupation; even at night [my] mind is not at rest. A terrible way of existing.
St. Paul calls us to get out of ourselves, our futile cares that will amount only to sorrow and grief. He says, seek what is above. Put the navel gazing to death, and venture forth to declare the kingdom, to seek, to find, and most importantly to encounter and invite.
Jesus brings the point home. He is asking us to consider the things we dwell on, the inward looking, navel gazing futility. Is it all that important? Will it matter eternally? No! Rather, we must be ready to answer God about the treasures we have stored up: the souls brought to God, those saved and entered into the rolls of the kingdom.
If we each get out of navel gazing, if we clear out the fuzzies in our head concerning the tasks to be performed, then we will be part of the prosperity saved for those who are about kingdom work.
Let us pull our eyes out of ourselves, out of what blocks us, away from fear. Gaze on the power God has given us. Doing that we will be Filled at daybreak with His kindness. We will shout for joy and gladness all our days.