Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Jean Nicholas Grou - HOW TO PRAY
Be simple in your piety. Do not rely upon your intellect or upon the subtlety and depth of your reasonings. Real piety is not concerned with thoughts but with the affections. Do not use so many books and exercises and methods. Let your heart tell you what you wish to say to God and say it simply without bothering too much about the words, it is ridiculous to be eloquent in his presence and take a pride in prayers that are well composed, instead of using those that are more natural to you.
I came upon Grou's writing in a RENOVARE study, Connecting with God. The chapter is on prayer and the Renovare authors chose this three paragraph devotional reading to head the chapter. I'm going indulge a paragraph at a time here. I find it so lovely and refreshing to be reminded to leave my head at the door in prayer. It's such a pure admonishment. No relying on intellect. Or subtlety. Or depth of reasoning. I'm talking to God. The LORD. The One God who created me and knows my love for language and higher thinking. What freedom there is here, to dip into my heart and speak with great devotion to the God of the universe and my very own heavenly Father.
Devotion to God is at the center of the concept. Grou reminds us, me, us that we have this devotion to our LORD God. It the fuel of our lives as we walk toward Him is His transformation. Our path to His sanctification. We are dedicated. We are devoted. We want Him and all He has for us.
Sometimes, for me, this devotion is based in knowing that God is the only real source of anything. The only real source of everything. And I want. Immediate I consider the words of Psalm 23 and hear "The LORD is my shepherd, I will want for nothing." But the wanting is so deep. It drives me to devotion to my desire and ultimately to God.
And from this particular point of view I can caress the notion that it is ridiculous to speak in an eloquent tongue and consider, that perhaps, I don't need to speak at all.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Love Wins.

Love never fails. 1 Corinthians 13:8a

Love always wins. Always. God's love is always the choice that won't fail. Any other choice is taking a chance. So, practically speaking, I can always stop to ask, "What would Love do in this case?" The answers, so far, have been pretty amazing for me.
"He took my chair!" resounds from the kitchen. I stop my natural response and ask, "What would Love do?" Well, God actually tells me that if someone takes something from me, I shouldn't even try to get it back (Luke 6:30). I proceed from there. Later, some precious child of God in a brand new German touring vehicle cuts me off on the freeway - in my lane. Love resounds in my ear, "Give to anyone who asks;  and when things are taken away from you, don't try to get them back." (Luke 6:30) I choose Love. It wins.
If I play out the alternative scenarios, I see why any other option bring failure or worse. If I respond naturally - out of my flesh - and demand my space or my way, I become resentful and angry. I act out of frustration, and even if I don't hurt someone else, I've lost the peace that selfless, Christ-love brings. Sometimes, I even hear God's wisdom to pray or bless the person who took my lane, my chair, or my peace. I suppose the irony is that whenever I choose Love, I win too. In the sacrifice, in the obedience because Love always wins. Always.

LORD God, thank you for your Word that shows us the way of Love and Life. Teach us daily and in every situation what Love - what You would do .

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Grace and Peace.

I do not wish to be moved by the peace of my circumstances. I do not even wish to seek peace for my situation. But I wish to know the peace of God which passes all understanding in the midst of all that surrounds me. In this I know the Bringer of Peace and His Grace.