“Thank you, Jesus, for enabling me to read these texts with an ear to hear your voice, rather than with a sense of needing to fulfill my “spiritual formation” duty. I sometimes fall asleep to this simple reality. Thank you for awakening me to remember that spiritual practices are simply a way of offering you the gift of my attention…of my abiding in you. Thank you for reminding me that my deepest and truest hungers and thirsts are satisfied in you. Too often I begin in a place of hunger and thirst for your living presence and present voice, but then devolve into a sense of duty, obligation and lifeless focus on my faithfulness or my unfaithfulness, neither of which brings life. Only your faithfulness does this. It sounds simple to write this prayer, but I can so easily become focused on my side of our relationship in such a way that I forget your initiative and interest that always precedes mine. Thank you, and Amen.”
I’ve realized along the way that sometimes I come to the scriptures as a listener, but sometimes I come to the scriptures seeking answers to the questions I have crafted, solutions to the problem I have identified, blessings the ideas I’ve hatched. It’s too easy to fool myself that I’m seeking God’s kingdom first when I’m really seeking God’s kickstart of mine.
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