Thursday, October 11, 2018

God, surprise me!

"In petitionary prayer we do not wager on changing God's mind, but we open ourselves to God's holy unpredictability."
Fr. Edward Foley, "Give Us This Day"

There it is. In one sentence that explains prayer to me. I wrestled with the idea that I have to pray to ward off anything bad happening to my loved ones, to find a lost object or to get through a difficult day. I still pray for those intentions, but instead of praying that God will manipulate events to go my way, I'm praying that God will give me whatever I need to get through whatever happens. We don't pray to change God, we pray to change ourselves. Right now, daughter Jeni Rose is moving to Colorado, and then right away, heading off to Israel and India to work prior to settling down. This whole thing could drive me crazy if I felt that her safety was dependent on my prayers. Oh, I'm praying, certainly, but my prayers are more to give me something positive to do until I hear the "All's well!" from her. My prayers keep me connected to the Source of my own peace. My prayers open me to God's unpredictability and keep me tethered to the deep peace God gives me within. Love, heidi

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Need to escape?

"Instead of wondering when your next vacation is, maybe you should set up a life you don’t need to escape from."
Seth Godin, Becoming Minimalist (link below)

I was wondering why I didn't have an aching in my heart to get out of town! I'm headed up to Marymount Hermitage later this month and am so excited to get there and just BE there. But I haven't noticed the sense of urgency I used to have prior to my twice-annually retreat. I think it's maybe about this quote--I have a life I no longer need to escape from. I love my much smaller life and don't feel the urgent need to get away from it like I did before. While there were lovely times in my former life, there were aspects of it that I regularly needed to retreat from. There were signs I needed a change, such as the looming dread I would start to feel late Sunday afternoons, anticipating the seemingly endless Monday. I no longer feel those feelings. I no longer need to escape from my life and that is a fabulous feeling! I think God gives us desires, deep inside our hearts, that lead us to doing God's will for us. I also believe that God allows us to feel discontent to spurn us into making the changes we may need. We need to spend time in the still silence to listen to both. Is our job feeling constrictive and less-than-satisfactory? Take the Sunday afternoon test! Is our house feeling too big, too much work, too filled with stuff? Can we do something to set up a life that we don't pine to get away from? Burning questions for an autumn Tuesday!  Love, heidi
Becoming Minimalist

Monday, October 8, 2018

Good Samaritan

"'And who is my neighbor?'...
'Which one of these three was the neighbor to the robber's victim?'"
Luke 10: 29, 36

Pray-As-You-Go pointed out an interesting detail about today's Gospel of the Good Samaritan. The man asked Jesus one question and Jesus answers it with another question, but a little differently. The man asks who is neighbor IS, implying more of a state of being. Jesus answers with more of an action, Who acted more neighborly? It is similar with Christianity, I feel. We can say we are Christian, which implies a state of being. But Christianity is much less a state of being and much more an action. We DO Christianity and if we don't, we aren't really Christian. Jesus makes that so clear in his parable about the sheep and the goats being divvied up at the end of time. Also, when Jesus says there will be people who will call out, "Lord, Lord!" And the just judge will say, "Hey I don't know just claimed to be Christian, you didn't actually DO Christianity." The Good Samaritan story tells us exactly what we need to do--care for others, others we don't know, others who are different than we are, others who may not be able to pay us back. The Good Samaritan didn't know if the victim was a good guy or not, he didn't drug test him or hold up a worthiness criteria to decide if he was good enough to be helped. The victim was a stranger and the Good Samaritan helped him anyway. Let that be a lesson for us, Modern Day Christians! We are not to judge who is worthy or deserving of our love and concern. Let's get out there, this autumn Monday and DO what we believe-- serve all God's children! Love, heidi