Did You Leave God Behind This Morning?
Devotional/Discussion thought of the Day:
66 As a result of this, many (of) his disciples returned to their former way of life and no longer accompanied him. 67 Jesus then said to the Twelve, “Do you also want to leave?” 68 Simon Peter answered him, “Master, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. 69 We have come to believe and are convinced that you are the Holy One of God.” John 6:66-69 (NAB)
465 “Just one minute of intense prayer is enough.” Someone who never prayed used to say that. Would someone in love think it enough to contemplate intensely the person they love for just a minute? (1)
Every morning that I am in my office, I use a morning devotion service from “Celtic Daily Prayer”. I like it for a number of reasons, it is well set up, and is a nice mix of liturgical form and meditation. Instead of one of the three creeds, there is a simple declaration of faith (same thing really – Creed comes from Credo – I have confidence in) The declaration of faith is simply Peter’s response above, Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life!”
After using this devotional liturgy for a year, those words are well written on my soul. I have pondered them quit a bit as well in this last week – and wondered how often our lives do not match Peter’s response. How often do we say that there is no where else to go, no one else’s words that give eternal life? Yet we leave our homes, and sometimes God is left behind. Or we left Him at church on Sunday. We run our lives as if he wasn’t there.
If we are honest, maybe we don’t want Him around, getting into our business, convicting us of sin. Do we want Him answering our prayer to lead us not into temptation, when our minds and bodies are desperately trying to justify submitting to that temptation, or even searching it out.
Do we want to hear the words that give us life? Do we want a life of continual prayer? Or do we, like the crowds, want to leave Jesus places. so that we can return to our former way of life?
I’ve heard people ( and have even done it myself )justify their lack of prayer life by saying they pray in bursts, like the one St Josemaria points out. I have a dynamic deep prayer life of 4 minutes, or I talk to God constantly through the day, so I don’t have to have devotional time. And we leave Him behind again, preferring the television, or the computer or the company of others to spending time with God. We play the quality versus quantity card too frequently. The out for most of us pastors? We don’t have the time because we are caring for people.
We need to be immersed in God’s presence, we need to realize how much a difference it makes, that this isn’t about discipline like calisthenics or working out in the gym. We aren’t doing it for being holy for holiness sake. The only way to learn to value this time? By being in it, tasting and knowing that God is good.
If you think these words are only aimed at you, my dear reader, they are not. They are for me as well. They are not to produce guilt, but to hold out to us that which is the most incredible news.
God, the creator of the universe, the One who died to bring hope and healing to the world, wants to spend time with you, to walk with you, to work with you, to encourage and comfort and rejoice and even dance with you. That the Lord is with you….. and also… with me.
We didn’t leave Him behind, for He dwells with us.
I pray that we would receive the mercy of realizing that presence, and spending both time of quantity, and time of quality, in dialogue we our God, for we are His children!
Escriva, Josemaria (2011-01-31). Furrow (Kindle Locations 2052-2055). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.
Posted on July 16, 2014, in Devotions, The Furrow and tagged aiding in Christ, Celtic Daily Prayer, christianity, devotion, devotional life, Eucharist, life, prayer, relationship with god, St. Josemaria Escriva, The Baptized Life, Walking in His Steps, Where is God when it hurts. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.