10Q10Q -- faith, life, rethinking church, following Jesus...stuff
Friday, November 11, 2011
This week anyone touched by Penn State ached. My prayers go to the children and to many others who are hurt and even those who have inflicted pain. God never fails, but often we do.
I have to confess my first reaction to the scandal was first anger that anyone would hurt kids and then something hard to put my finger on. It was a puzzlement that Penn State is held so high. It was a frustration that a school or a football team could be so important to some that feel almost idolotrous to me. But, that's not where I ended.
Reflecting on the reality and praying for those involved, brought me to a new place...a better place, I think. I began to ponder all the things that I value and that I would grieve for if my trust in them were broken. ( I wish I could say the list was short but it wasn't.) I depend on many things from my car to people. Some of those things, many really, have grown to hold too high a priority in my life for the lasting joy, results, or power that they can deliver. Too high a place to match what I want to believe, what I say I believe.
That point of growing, confession and reality admitted, there are all kinds of levels of trust. Each one with a place in our lives. Each one, when broken, brings a bit of grieving and sadness. Each one gives me the opportunity to see the gifts in that relationship and to see the things that I hold out of proportion, that I idolized, even if only a little bit. Each one gives me the opportunity to Live Love more fully, making life adjustments as I go.
So through the gifts of time and grace, my prayers and heart goes out to those grieving about Penn State, about losses, about the things that capture attention. My prayer is that God would heal the hurts and hold more of your attention. In that posture nothing can conquer us, only detour us a bit.
What has your attention? How may I pray for you?
Tuesday, November 8, 2011
My bible reading this morning was not encouraging me. A little prophetic bluster from Isaiah, left me pondering my own brokenness; a little psalmatic (if that's a word) despair--not so cheery on it's face; and then the words of Jesus in Matthew 7. Here I thought would be the upswing and instead I got caught in the underbrush of my heart.
I don't know about you, but it's easy for me to be hard on myself...harder than I ever am on others. So I read "Don't judge so that you won't be judged" and got tangled in my moments of discontent with others rather than the intent of the passage of a gracious balanced look at all (self included).
I read "For everyone who asks, receives. Whoever seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door is opened." and went to that ludicrous place of wondering why a wish-granting God wasn't doing that for me, when I know the passage is about the power of an honest, open, interactive relationship with the Holy, with Love, with Jesus, with God.
I read "You will know them by their fruit" and I whinned to myself about not being fruitfull enough from a western, Type A personality, things productivity, kind of place, when I know the passage has more to do with character than with profits of people, dollars or things.
Here's the big point. I needed to make the journey. It took me about 75 minutes this morning, to read, reflect, pray, grab a few commentaries on line, reflect, digest, pray, process and come out on the other side. Now, no longer discouraged, rather strengthened from my morning devotional time. Now, a little less wandering and a little more on a focused inward adventure. And the
The kicker is this. Tomorrow I may need to do it all over again. Perhaps in the same way, or maybe sitting quietly in prayer and reflection for the same time, or possibly singing songs or serving or something else. I don't always know how it will unfold, but I know I need...I do better with...my adventure is safer, more productive, more satisfying when...to spend that time with God. Each day is part of an adventure for which I need my GPS (Grow, Pray, Study or, if you like, God Positioning System) of the scriptures, prayer, companions on the journey.
The reward is this. It works.
What inward adventures of the Spirit have you had lately?