Friday, August 5, 2011

Still, small voice

The readings for this Sunday have shed some light on some recent posts that I have been attempting.  I say attempting because while these memories have been breaking through in my thoughts I have been unable to place them in a concise post that still conveys the truth of what happened, and also the way it expanded my vision of how God calms the storms of my life! !

 I always have difficulty in my personal application of scripture, I have this voice which continually screams "who do you think you are" when I prayerfully try to place myself into a particular story of scripture. Like Elijah, I have learned to recognize that that is not God:
1 Kings 19:9a, 11-13a  "A strong heavy wind was rending the mountain and crushing rocks before the Lord-but the Lord was not in the wind.  After the wind there was an earthquake-but the Lord was not in the earthquake.  After the earthquake there was a fire- but the Lord was not in the fire.  After the fire there was a tiny whispering sound.  When he heard this, Elijah hid his face in his cloak and went and stood at the entrance of the cave."
And this has helped me to see  ways of dealing with the trials, temptations and turbulence  that rage on and will continue to until the end of time.  In fact, what is brought out might not seem to be a solution, or a way of dealing with these events.  It it might seem to be nothing, a breath of wind or a phantom of my imagining!

The Psalm declares that God comes to us in kindness and peace, all around us all hell may be breaking lose, do we lose sight of the Lord?  I cannot tell anyone that it is easy to focus on the Lord when the confusion, disruption and uncertainty of life seem to demand that you let go of all that "contemplative stuff" and grasp at controlling your chaotic life!  I can say that God will come to you, and he does not need you to be sitting in a cave waiting for Him!  And whether you realize it or not at the moment He brings with Him peace and salvation.

Not that I have any authority, or even any expertise in the way of prayerful scripture reflection, I react the same way many people do during times of intense physical, or psychological struggles!  I forget about everything else and worry that I will never ever, ever, recover!  In fact I can become so distracted with my problems that I cannot even focus on prayer or scripture, the words cannot even formulate in  mind!  Paul in his anguish over the unbelief of the Israelites does not fall into this trap, rather he relies on and perseveres in the Spirit to allow him to continue to speak the truth and God expanded his vision of who the Israelites were (Rom9:6-12).

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

God alone

How can I write this, I who crave acceptance among my peers!  And not just acceptance, but honor and adulation; I hate to even write it down because I know how lacking I am in every respect!  Not too bad at writing, but lacking in grammatical structure, spelling (thank you spell check)  and a wee bit melodramatic!  Thoughts that flit through while writing or in conversation, will misdirect my thesis often take my writing (or conversations hostage) and create confusion and lack of confidence.  My charity is weak, half-hearted and easily diverted to more selfish works.  I am not ugly, but, well, I am 42 and not blond!  I am mediocre in every sense, yet I crave recognition for being smart, talented, and beautiful inside and out. I fear recognition as much as I crave it because I do not want anyone to know just how mediocre I am. And know I will expose myself as the lazy, inconsiderate, and self obsessed person that I truly am.

I wonder how many feel this way?  How many of us are caught up in the vicious cycle of wanting to be known, but fearing exposure?  I find myself asking God how anything I do can be of any use since all thing pass through this confused and self centered mind of mine.  All my actions are over analysed, and condemned as selfish.  As far back as I remember a accusatory voice has whispered or sometimes shouted "who do you think you are?"  And this voice intrudes in all that I do, whether it is altruistic or more ambitious; and it stops me in my tracks.  I have kept a journal  for a few years off and on, but I always find it difficult to write about myself, or to write my prayers to God.  If I re read them I feel absolute shame at how pathetic I am, how desperate I am to be somebody that all who know admire.  "Who do you think you are" after all, you are too afraid to do anything of worth because of course you know how inadequate you really are, how mediocre you are.  But I so desire to be great, to do great things to be a part of a great story.

Last Sunday I published a short scripture reflection on a unknown blog that has no readers except me, but it was public so I felt exposed and naked as I hit the word publish.  I also felt energized and inspired, but the "who do you think you" are voice kept intruding! You think that you are worthy to comment on Scripture?  No.  You think that you can actually bring a reflection to completion and coherence? No.  But I want to know Jesus.  I want Him to know me.  My reflection, whether or not it made sense, described how all my misdirected desire of the past, all of my pent up and wasted passion was for Jesus.  And the gospel of last Sunday told me that He Himself will satisfy my heart's desire and He will not send me away to find satisfaction elsewhere, but in Him all desire is satisfied.  And how many more times I will have to go back to Him and eschew the accomplishments of this world, seemingly hiding in fear of failure, but more and more relying on God Alone, to know me and to direct me in Truth.  God never say's "who do you think you are", though I sometimes have to push through that thought to get past it, keeping my heart, mind and soul focused on Jeses.  That is not easy for someone as easily distracted as myself. 

So today, in reading Romans 2, I have gravitated to versus 16 ":.... God will judge people's hidden works through Christ Jesus" and 29: "......his praise is not from human beings but from God."   And He will give me my true identity and He will judge me with truth and in Him I can put my pull trust for in my weakness and insecurity He will draw forth humanity and beauty.

In all things Praise be to God!