–Quaker Rufus Jones
What a good reminder as we find ourselves “steeped in servanthood!” Thinking “vertically” while living “horizontally.” Rufus Jones, 1863-1948, lived in an era when wars at home and abroad threatened society, liberalism assaulted the inspiration of Holy Scripture, and modern missions stormed the gates of hell. A Quaker through and through, he authored more than fifty books and for forty years taught philosophy, ethics and Bible at Haverford College in Pennsylvania. Though we would not agree with most of his theology, he had a great heart for God and he was more than right when he said: “Keep a window open on the God-ward side!”
How, may I ask, do you keep the window open on the God-ward side? In the busyness of our schedules it is a challenge, to say the least, but, oh, how precious those times when the window is “open” in our quiet times with Him. Believe me, there have been enough occasions when, by my own personal neglect, I failed to raise it.
One thing heartening about opening the window, is that sometimes opening it just a crack is still better than not opening it at all! Over the years I have learned to keep several “quiet time” regiments going so that I assure myself fellowship with the Lord throughout the day. I do this because I know “myself.” If I had only one, and missed it, I would be in for a day of dependence upon my strength rather than His. Those are not good days. We all enjoy the “larger chunks” of time when we can read through the Bible several chapters at a sitting, study systematically the great doctrines of Scripture, read from a favorite devotional or memorize portions of Scripture, but we also need an alternative for those occasions when the day begins before we do! At such times I profit by keeping a copy of “Daily Light” near by, reading a shorter Psalm highlighting a verse for the day, keeping a list of favorite verses in the flyleaf of my Bible, or sometimes just praying one of the many prayers of Scripture. I am sure that you have your “backup” plans too.
I think this is what “ole” Rufus Jones meant when he encouraged us to “Keep a window open on the God-ward side.” Personally, I love those times when I can open the window wide and feel the fresh breezes of heaven blow. But I still profit from the gentle breeze that winds its way into my heart when the window to heaven is even “cracked” jut a little.
First, and foremost, our time communing with God must have the highest priority. There is something about the environment of His presence that lifts the soul, and changes the scenery around us. Brother Lawrence said, “Let it be your business to keep your mind in the presence of the Lord.” It is Tozer who reminds us that, “We must break the evil habit of ignoring the spiritual. We must shift our interest from the seen to the unseen.”
For those of us “steeped in servanthood,” let’s be sure to “Keep the window open on the God-ward side,” even if it is only cracked! His mercies are new every day and we certainly don’t want to miss a one!
“Oh, how I love Your law! It is my meditation all the day.” Psalm 119:97
–Maynard H. Belt