Attachment and Detachment

Good morning. It is Thursday (but we’re calling it “pre-Friday” now), October 18, 2012. Today is “National No Beard Day.” Treason. Or heresy. Or something. I shall NOT participate in that. Perhaps I’ll have a chocolate cupcake, since it is also “National Chocolate Cupcake Day.”

On this date in 1648, Boston Shoemakers formed the first U.S. labor union.
On this date in 1767, Mason and Dixon drew a line.
The U.S. took possession of Alaska on this date in 1867. We bought it from Russia or $7.2 million.
On this date in 1898, the U.S. took possession of Puerto Rico. Who did we buy that from? Hmmm…I guess we just took that one. I bet it had something to do with reports from baseball scouts.
The BBC was founded on this date in 1922.
On this date in 1925, the Grand Ole Opry opened in Nashville, Tennessee.
On this date in 1929, women achieved “personhood” status under Canadian law.
The first transistor radio was announced by Texas Instruments on this date in 1954.
On this date in 1967, the Soviet probe Venera-4 reached Venus and became the first spacecraft to measure the atmosphere of another planet.
On this date in 1968, John Lennon and Yoko Ono were arrested for drug possession. That’s news? Maybe it was the first time.
On this date in 1974, soul singer Al Green’s ex-girlfriend burst in on him in the bathtub, poured scalding hot grits on his back, and went to his bedroom, where she killed herself with his gun.
And on this date in 1977, Reggie Jackson hit three consecutive home runs in game six of the World Series. Off of three consecutive pitches, from three different pitchers. This earned him the nickname, “Mr. October.”

Birthdays today include Matthew Henry, 1662 (the one that wrote the Bible commentary), Chuck Berry, 1926, George C. Scott, 1927, Keith Jackson, 1928, Chuck Swindoll, 1934, Peter Boyle, 1935, Lee Harvey Oswald, 1939, Mike Ditka, 1939, Howard Shore, 1946, Laura Nyro, 1997, Pam Dawber, 1951.

I didn’t have a good afternoon yesterday, in terms of trying to “live out” what I’m learning, lately. In short, I got pretty upset over a situation at work, and one that probably didn’t warrant it as much. I let someone get to me pretty badly. And I felt bad about it for the rest of the day. So much so, that I couldn’t wait to get to the gym last night to work off the frustration. That helped. But, it showed me that I’m definitely not there yet. There is still much to do as I attempt to let the life of Christ be lived in me. Today is a new day, and I will go forth knowing that God is my refuge and strength.

Christi is still in a lot of pain from whatever it is that is wrong. We continue praying and waiting until Monday, when she has another doctor’s visit. Again, she was in too much pain to do the workout last night.

Father, I pray for a glimpse of you this morning, as I look into your word.

Today, I’m finishing up Psalm 119 with verses 169-176.

169 Taw. Let my cry come before you, O LORD; give me understanding according to your word!
170 Let my plea come before you; deliver me according to your word.
171 My lips will pour forth praise, for you teach me your statutes.
172 My tongue will sing of your word, for all your commandments are right.
173 Let your hand be ready to help me, for I have chosen your precepts.
174 I long for your salvation, O LORD, and your law is my delight.
175 Let my soul live and praise you, and let your rules help me.
176 I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek your servant, for I do not forget your commandments.

As this lengthy psalm comes to a close, the psalmist cries out for understanding. His lips and tongue will sing praises to the Lord for the truth of God’s word. Finally, he prays that the Lord will not forsake him when he goes astray, but seek to bring him back to the path of truth.

Today’s reading in My Utmost For His Highest is called “The Key to Missionary Devotion.” The scripture reference is 3 John 7, which says, For they have gone out for the sake of the name, accepting nothing from the Gentiles.

Jesus has told us how we show that we love him. He told Peter, “Feed my sheep.” We are to identify ourselves with his interests in other people. We are NOT to identify God with our interests in other people. We tend to get that confused. 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 shows the character of this love. Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. This is “the love of God expressing itself.”

“Loyalty to Jesus Christ is the supernatural work of Redemption wrought in me by the Holy Ghost Who sheds abroad the love of God in my heart, and that love works efficaciously through me in contact with everyone I meet.” The key to this “missionary devotion” is that I am attached to nothing and no one other than Jesus Christ. It does NOT mean that I am detached from external things, though. The detachment is on the inside, in the spirit, towards God. “External attachment is often an indication of a secret vital attachment to the things we keep away from externally.” That’s deep. Think about that one for a while!

I must keep my soul open to the nature of Jesus. That is the loyalty to him. We are but ordinary people, in an ordinary world. But we have an extraordinary devotion/attachment to Jesus Christ, that is brought by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Father, I pray for this attachment to be made manifest in my life. I pray that the internal attachment to only Christ will play itself out in the manifestation of the characteristics shown in 1 Corinthians 13, as well as in the Beatitudes. These things are the life of Christ, the love of God, being displayed through the lives and hearts of people who are attached only to you. I failed in this yesterday, Lord. I confess that. The flesh won out in the battle yesterday, as anger manifested itself. Frustration won out. But I will not beat myself up over that, for it is past. It is yesterday. Today is a new day, and there will be opportunities to manifest the love of Christ in my life. I pray that I will be successful today.

I pray for this day. I continue to pray for healing for Christi’s pain. I pray, too, that she will have a non-stressful day today. I pray that Stephanie’s day will be a good day, and that she will be drawn to look at your word today and think about you. I pray for my work day, that it will be a good day, with no issues. Keep me in an attitude of prayer during the day. Show me that loyalty as I devote myself to Christ.

I must look for that attachment in my spirit and remain detached from the world, internally, but not externally. There’s a fine line there.

Grace and peace, friends.