During this pandemic season, I have been guided into some basic truths and how they are instrumental in my desire to relate to God as a prayer. Because of busyness or the nature of pre-Covid-19 life, I had forgotten the richness of seven tenets I’d like to briefly call to the forefront of our minds.
Every one of us, aware or unaware, is hungry for God. And this hunger will never dissipate this side of death. Therefore, everything else but the Person of Jesus falls short of satisfying us. Although He has us in its entirety, we cannot yet have even Him completely. So we hunger.
This One who has us is bringing us to the day when we may have Him. We now have the capacity for a large life lived on a large earth, but what is actually underneath us is a large hand. We are being lovingly carried by holy God.
Your days and my days are limited and we know it. There are finite opportunities for enjoyment, impact, laughter, community, celebration, stretching our minds, placing a child in our laps, and saying I’m sorry. Jesus says to us, “In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” The injection of His courage into us is so needed.
The urge to hurry things, especially my progress as a Christian is, well, un-Christian. If we could see God’s “timeline” (does He even have one?) we might realize that He has wholeness (Shalom) in mind when it comes to His people. Don’t get back to normal. Take a breath. Receive. Savor.
When I open myself to being the affection of God’s love found in Christ on the cross and when I drink in the unending and everlasting truth that I am forgiven and now have access to God, my inclination toward Him is strong. My receptivity is keen. And my gratitude wins.
The English language breaks down and does not serve us well when giving speech to the Holy Trinity. The Father, Son and Holy Spirit are a Community. Each has the others’ best interests in mind and invites every one of us into Themselves. Yes, three Persons and one God, creating a hunger for more of Him, carrying us into Himself, instilling us with courage, giving Himself to us in waiting, and opening the hope to knowing Him more deeply today by forgiving us.
The most thoroughly expounded of the ten commandments is #4… Remember the Sabbath Day and keep it holy. There has been no more concrete practice for my faith than keeping the seventh day set apart in my life. It is the day I do almost nothing. Six days I think, plan and work. But on the seventh day, I seek to add play and subtract anything that is akin to work. It will take me a dozen lifetimes to get it right, but the act of not-acting has more holiness built into it than any amount of accomplishment.
In this pursuit, I find the question Am I turning toward God or turning away from God? computes more to me than How much progress am I making? The act of turning toward God, whether as a prayer or as a simple man in need of God, is my only concern now that I am on the back half of life. And this season, in the spring of 2020, is bringing much-needed light to me, giving me hope and courage for the days to come.
What does the word Shalom (mentioned above under Patience) mean to you?
Which of the seven tenets are you drawn to? Which are you resistant toward?
Is there a way to experiment with each of the tenets this next week?