Here are a few gleanings from my recent reading and meditating:
Jesus was never in a hurry, according to everything we know from biblical history. So why are we, especially when we claim to be doing His work? I’ve seen more frenetic, impetuous activity in churches than I care to recall. I believe it was Gandhi who said, “There is more to life than increasing its speed.”
I’ve often thought of God as someone who knows me better than I know myself. But do I really believe that? Far too often I think I have a firm grip on everything about me, only to discover, much to my chagrin, that I really don’t understand my attitudes, biases, motives, and unconscious drivers at all. It was Oswald Chambers who wrote, “We have to get rid of the idea that we understand ourselves; it is the last bit of pride to go.”
Psalm 120 seems to be describing how I feel toward politics, the media, and most self-proclaimed “authorities” these days. The Hebrew poet wrote, “Save me, O Lord, from lying lips and from deceitful tongues. Too long have I lived among those who hate peace. I am a man of peace, but when I speak, they are for war.”
Thomas Merton once prayed a prayer that is beyond the reach of most of us. “O Lord, let my eyes see nothing in the world but your glory; let my hands touch nothing that is not for your service.” I can’t even begin to imagine how I could do this, but it’s a goal worth striving for. So I’ll try to see the handiwork of deity in nature and also (more difficult!) in human nature. And I’ll commit myself to random acts of kindness each day, even if those actions are only a smile to a stranger or a text to a faraway friend.