“For every minute you are angry you lose sixty seconds of happiness.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
The word of the day, from Merriam-Webster, is iconoclast. Literally, “image destroyer,” the definition is, “a person who destroys religious images or opposes their veneration,” or, “a person who attacks settled beliefs or institutions.” I’m not sure that I ever knew what this word actually means.
Today is Don’t Step On A Bee Day. Especially if you are barefoot.
(From Praying With the Psalms)
“Because he holds fast to me in love, I will deliver him; I will protect him, because he knows my name.
Psa 91:15 When he calls to me, I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and honor him.
Psa 91:16 With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.”
“All that is prayed for and believed is confirmed in the action of God. God enters our lives and acts in ways that meet every need. Blessings are exchanged.”
“I do love you, O god. And I do need all that you can do for me: deliver, protect, rescue, honor, and save. Thank you for the richness of your promise and the steadfastness in your performance, even in Jesus Christ. Amen.”
(From My Utmost For His Highest)
The Spiritual Sluggard
And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together. Hebrews 10:24-25
I don’t really want to “mix with the rough and tumble of life.” We all have the capacity to be “spiritual sluggards.” I would rather live a remote, retired life. Personally, I think I would have been a great hermit, living like one of the “desert fathers.” But, “to live a remote, retired, secluded life is the antipodes of spirituality as Jesus Christ taught it.” “Antipodes??” I had to look that one up. It is “the direct opposite of something.”
What happens to our spirituality when we come up against “injustice and meanness and ingratitude and turmoil?” We tend to go to God strictly for peace and joy; “we do not want to realize Jesus Christ, but only our enjoyment of Him.” This goes back to questions asked by Dallas Willard. Do we want God, or do we just want his benefits?
We want to provoke each other, as the KJV put it. We want to “stir up one another to love and good works.” We don’t want physical activity, though. “Active work and spiritual activity are not the same thing.” Sometimes, we make ourselves busy to keep from having to confront our spiritual sluggishness.
“The danger of spiritual sluggishness is that we do not wish to be stirred up, all we want to hear about is spiritual retirement. Jesus Christ never encourages the idea of retirement.”
Father, I pray that I might desire Jesus Christ, and not this idea of spiritual retirement. I confess to being spiritually sluggish at times. I confess that there are many times when I would rather take my spirituality out to the desert and be alone. I know that this is wrong, and not what you desire for me. I confess that, much of the time, I simply do not like being around people, even my spiritual brothers and sisters. I pray that you would bring me out of my introverted shell that I might minister to people, that I might serve people, and that I might serve with people. You have made us a community, and it is my obligation to share in that community. May your Holy Spirit draw me further into that, Father, that I might be who and what you desire me to be.
Come, Lord Jesus!
The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.
Grace and peace, friends.