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Archive for October, 2010

More With Less

God’s been hammering home a new lesson throughout this year, one that hasn’t necessarily been fun for me to learn. One that I tried to avoid, that I railed against, diluted, attempted and failed at many times over.

I’m learning about being quiet. I’m learning how to say less, so that God can do more. He’s teaching me how to get myself out of the way, to become self-less so I can live in a God-more world. He works through me, when I’m willing to let him.

Seems so simple, and with hindsight it seems like I should know well enough by now to choose God’s way every time. But my human nature leads me to self-importance. I want to be special, I want extra credit, I want to be the star pupil…

But the truth of the matter is, whenever I play God, I run the risk of preventing someone else from finding salvation in Christ. As Jesus declares in John 14:6, “No one gets to the Father apart from me.” Notice he doesn’t say, “with Sarah’s help.” The fact of the matter is, God doesn’t need me.

And so I’m learning to admit that the people I encounter don’t experience God because of how great I am when I bear witness to Christ’s power. People experience God because my witness shows how great he is in spite of my messy, sinful life. And when I allow myself to become less, I find that God will choose me to work more in the lives of others for the good of all creation.

All I have to do is shut my mouth, open my heart and get out of his way.

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From “The Rule of Benedict: Insights for the Ages” by Joan Chittister, OSB:

To bear bad things, evil things, well is for Benedict a mark of humility, a mark of Christian maturity. It is a dour and difficult notion for the modern Christian to accept. The goal of the twentieth century is to cure all diseases, order all inefficiency, topple all obstacles, end all stress, and prescribe immediate panaceas. We wait for nothing and put up with little and abide less and react with fury at irritations. We are a people without patience. We do not tolerate process. We cannot stomach delay. Persist. Persevere. Endure, Benedict says. It is good for the soul to temper it. God does not come on hoofbeats of mercury through streets of gold. God is in the dregs of our lives. That’s why it takes humility to find God where God is not expected to be.

When I feel bad, I seek out something to make me feel better…just about anything will do to numb pain and still racing thoughts. Lately God’s been showing me how to dwell in the middle of my race-track mind, how to make it through the din. And though I don’t expect to find God out on the asphalt, there he is in the middle of every disastrous collision, quietly tending to the wounded.

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