Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Who are you God?

And who am I?

These two questions are the ones that have meant the most to me since early childhood. And, they continue to be those I hold dearest in this "golden" season of life as well.  Because God is infinite and mysterious there is always something more to learn about Him. And in learning to know Him more, I seem to know myself more as well?

They say hindsight is a great teacher, and I would agree to a point.  However, the
greater Teacher reveals things, including those from the past, that hold deeper truths than when initially considered.  I see now that the many trials and sufferings in my life were also times of both surrender and tremendous "growth."  Only now I also "see" there was a "call" on my life from that early age.  It was only
a vague "sense", and even then only infrequently at most.  Yet, it has reoccurred throughout my life.  Others have suggested what they thought it might mean, I
have even entertained several different avenues to pursue. But none of the suggestions or my plans has ever come to fruition.  Only when I have reached that point again of total surrender has the next small step been made clear, and have I experienced a deep abiding peace.

Now in my 60's, and a grandfather, have I reached what feels like a time of final
surrender? I am content and have no fear of death, I have also taken to heart the verses of Philippians 4:4-9, and attempt to live them out in my life daily.  The
"call" is clearer too. "Follow me. I will make my disciples and build my Church as you do.  You need only do two things; love God and love others."

So, in this season any notions of seminary have long since been cast aside. Ideas about "ministry" have met a similar enigmatic fate.  I simply wake up each morning,
listen and obey.  My Lord and Savior has been faithful to speak and guide throughout each day as I re-surrender and abide in Him.  Yes, it is still an intentional daily act on my part, but it has become a rather habitual discipline, among others.

To be sure, I have had many mentors and spiritual guides (anam cara as I prefer to say) along the way, and that it is what I hope to be for others in this season?  I have studied much (understatement), though outside of the usual structures of academia, and I continue to enjoy the pursuit of knowledge, though "spiritual formation" and transformation into a likeness of Christ is my goal.

I have also finally found a "rule of life" for common daily living (regula vitae communis). In words it is quite simple; "In humility be present." But it implies (and reminds me) of a deeper, fuller life that incorporates all the "streams" of the Christian life of following Jesus Christ.  "In humility be present," is deeply personal for me, it's as if God Himself, my Creator Who knows me best, gave me His perfect "rule" for me as a gift?

In this simple rule is imbedded all the beauty of a life immersed in contemplation,
holiness, Spirit, compassion, Gospel and imitating Christ incarnate.  But also in this
season, the streams all seem to have flowed together into one great and beautiful river? The river that flows from the throne of God?!  It is difficult to write of these things, and now too I understand what the mystics were speaking and writing of when they expressed utter inadequacy in accurately describing what they had or were experiencing.  When the words, thoughts and language are not ours, but God's, well, we cannot expect to do much can we?!

I have gathered some things along the way; sort of like shells, stones, etc from a walk on the beach? Three pieces (a holy trinity) of prose help me self-describe what I'm trying to live each day; "A House by the Side of the Road", "I Stand by
the Door", and "Others May You Cannot".  Those coupled with my own adaption from Celtic Daily Prayer of my own personal daily "offices" and prayer seem to do a good job of putting some meat on that simple rule?

Suffice to say as Scripture says, "Now we see dimly, then we shall see face to
face."  Until then, I will try to simply be present in humility.  I sense it is

}:- da Moose

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

to lose one's life and find peace and contentment beyond this world . . .

Others May, You Cannot
By G.D. Watson

      If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. (Matthew 16:24-25)

      If God has called you to be truly like Jesus in all your spirit, He will draw you into a life of crucifixion and humility. He will put on you such demands of obedience that you will not be allowed to follow other Christians. In many ways, He seems to let other good people do things which He will not let you do.
      Others who seem to be very religious and useful may push themselves, pull wires, and scheme to carry out their plans, but you cannot. If you attempt it, you will meet with such failure and rebuke from the Lord as to make you sorely penitent.
      Others can brag about themselves, their work, their successes, their writings, but the Holy Spirit will not allow you to do any such thing. If you begin to do so, He will lead you into some deep mortification that will make you despise yourself and all your good works.
      Others will be allowed to succeed in making great sums of money, or having a legacy left to them, or in having luxuries, but God may supply you only on a day-to-day basis, because He wants you to have something far better than gold, a helpless dependence on Him and His unseen treasury.
      The Lord may let others be honored and put forward while keeping you hidden in obscurity because He wants to produce some choice, fragrant fruit for His coming glory, which can only be produced in the shade.
      God may let others be great, but keep you small. He will let others do a work for Him and get the credit, but He will make you work and toil without knowing how much you are doing. Then, to make your work still more precious, He will let others get the credit for the work which you have done; this to teach you the message of the Cross, humility, and something of the value of being cloaked with His nature.
      The Holy Spirit will put a strict watch on you, and with a jealous love rebuke you for careless words and feelings, or for wasting your time, which other Christians never seem distressed over.
      So make up your mind that God is an infinite Sovereign and has a right to do as He pleases with His own, and that He may not explain to you a thousand things which may puzzle your reason in His dealings with you.
      God will take you at your word. If you absolutely sell yourself to be His slave, He will wrap you up in a jealous love and let other people say and do many things that you cannot. Settle it forever; you are to deal directly with the Holy Spirit, He is to have the privilege of tying your tongue or chaining your hand or closing your eyes in ways which others are not dealt with. However, know this great secret of the Kingdom: When you are so completely possessed with the Living God that you are, in your secret heart, pleased and delighted over this peculiar, personal, private, jealous guardianship and management of the Holy Spirit over your life, you will have found the vestibule of heaven, the high calling of God.