Friday, August 22, 2014

Anchored vs Rutterless

Attribution: Oxyman From

 Ever wonder how some people are able to put there whole trust in God while other white knuckle there own route through life.  As we learn in the story of Peter walking on water, God can call us out into the choppy water.  While we are all willing to trust God while we are safely on the boat or on shore many time we have trouble when he invites us onto the water. 

Anchored life
An anchored life is one that trust that everything will work out(one way or another)  no matter what is happening at the time.  This is extremely difficult for humans.  But any situation can be prayed through.  There is even a "fake it till you make it" mentality.  You may thing that the situiaon is hopeless and that God can't help, but are just praying becasue you are out of options.  Keep doing it until you belive that God really can help.  Like the bible story of the persistent widow we need to put unending trust in God.  Know that God cares for us especially in our most vulnerable time, even if we are in a situation of our own making.  Not that it will be easy or that there won't be repercussions but God cares for us and hears our prayers.  

How can we trust in the turmoil?
 Sometimes we lay awake pleading with God "Aren't you going to do some thing about this situation I'm in?"  These are the trials of our life.  If God just came in miraculous and gave us the solution for what we needed we would just use him as a crutch every time we are in a pinch. God doesn't work that way and Gods ways are not our ways.

The rudderless life
Is your boat going towards God.  A rudderless boat just drifts around with no direction.  The boat with rudder goes the straight path towards a destination. There will be times in our life where we feel we are at a dead end that the world is about to collapse on us and God is letting it happen.  We will pull through this situation.  Let God lead you where you need to go.  Let him provide you earthy resources that seem to come your way in the nick of time.  Take advantage of the resources that God puts in your life to help you live life.  

There is a story of a lady who when a great flood was predicted went to the church and prayed God if you are real you will save me from the coming flood.  Just then a jeep pulled up telling her that a flood was coming and she should come with them.  She said "No thank you, God will save me."  Then the water started coming in and rising.  She started climbing us the steps of the church and praying for God to save her.  Then a boat came by and offered her a ride, She nervously said "No, God will save me." The water continued to rise and she ended up on the roof of the church praying for God to save her.  Then a helicopter came by and lowered a ladder, she She said "No,  God will save me." Finally the waters got too high and wiped her away.  Upon arriving in heaven she told God, "I prayed and you didn't save me".  God replied I sent you a jeep, a boat and a helicopter, what else did you want me to do.  

The point of the story is that God works through humans more often than he works through miracles.  St Augustine said "Pray as though everything depended on God. Work as though everything depended on you."  By living our lives this way we can having an anchored life and not be drifting off waiting for God to come to miraculously rescue us.  God hears us and will help us but we need to trust in him to do it in his time and his way.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Spiritual Opportunity

As people of faith it is often easy to get caught up in our own self and fail to see the simplicity of the world around.  Looking around at other faiths and cultures can allow you to bring aspects of it to your own faith to grow deeper in your own walk with God.  I am not talking about doctrine level stuff or changing faith but incorporating ascetic practices to deepen your faith.  Do so with caution so you do not break any of the rules of your own faith. 

An example being that I recently took a vacation to Lancaster Pennsylvania .  It did the touristy stuff but one of the highlights of my trip was the Amish buggy ride.   For 45 minutes I was one of those tourists in the back of the buggy being driving around the countryside gawking at the farms.   My particular ride was guided by a remarkable Amish woman named Rachael.  During our ride she told of her life, family and the Amish community.  During my ride along the county side I realized that I was having a moment of “spiritual opportunity”.   Listening to Rachael talk about family, community and simplicity, God was inviting me to take concepts of the Amish life and apply it to my own life.  I was not being called to cut off my power and trade in my car for a buggy, or to even learn more about the tenants of the Amish religion.  God was inviting me to do and inventory of my live and see if I was living as simply as I could or if I could do better in little ways. 

These spiritual opportunities are all around us if we are aware enough to recognize them.  We have them in the Catholic tradition in the writings of the saints.  St. Therese invites to follow the “little way” and other saints invite us into their own spirituality.  But these spiritual opportunities can be found every day in nature and in life.   They may not be profound; they may be small nudges that help us redirect our spiritual compass back towards Jesus.  I encourage you to find spiritual opportunities in your everyday life that you can take to help you on your journey.