I’m reading a book about a woman through whom God does amazing things.
This is very challenging to me as my petty ego says to me ‘how come God doesn’t do amazing things through you?’ (please don’t anyone answer that with reassuring platitudes about me being amazing, I get that I’m ‘amazing’ in the normal sense of everyone being amazing, but I’m talking about miracles here).
Anyway, this woman (who shall be nameless but who also has an admirable disregard for what people think of her) lies face down on the floor to pray.
This is to express that she is willing to lay everything down to follow God and also to express her utter helplessness. I get the second part of that sentence, I struggle to do the first part.
Anyway, laugh if you like, but this morning I thought ‘I’ll try this!‘ So I lay face down on the floor.
As soon as my nose touched the carpet the little internal voice in my head that I understand to be the presence of God in my life said ‘well okay, but there may be slightly more to it than posture’.
Hmm! There followed a short silence during which I had little internal debate about how willing was I to be helpless, to completely put myself in God’s hands and to possibly look silly.
After two more minutes I was ready to lever myself off the floor, thinking ‘Okay God, I’ve had quite enough of that little exercise’ when ‘POW!’ this big thought hit me:
“It is SO much easier being in control (doing stuff) than it is being passive and allowing yourself to be loved”.
I’m not claiming that was God, it the ‘POW’ is just because it is such a big truth. We SO much prefer to do stuff, say stuff, change stuff, make stuff happen when what God wants to do first in our lives is to love us. Only when we are filled up with love by God can we over-flow with love for others. It’s not that he doesn’t want us to do stuff but the the source of my energy and all my actions needs to be God’s love. (this is the meaning of Romans 5:5 ‘God has poured out his love in our hearts by his Holy Spirit’ which Peterson renders as ‘we can’t round up enough containers to hold everything God generously pours into our lives through the Holy Spirit’)
This is what I said yesterday in church – it was All Saints Day- I was talking about each of us being a local hero (aka a ‘Saint’) simply by being fully the person we are called to be (all the slides with names on were just making the point we are all called as individuals, starting with the names of the children being baptised yesterday):
Click on the link and you should see the powerpoint. It’s pretty annoying when God reminds you on Monday morning what you’d said publicly on Sunday morning, especially when you have to be face down on the carpet in order to ‘hear’ it.
‘Yeah, God I know all that? I wrote that powerpoint…remember? It was me who gave that talk?’
‘Yes, Sheila, but you weren’t listening to yourself. Now shut up and just stay in the place (literally AND metaphorical) of being loved and leave the rest to me’.