Devotional Thought of the Day:
“Absolute futility,” says the Teacher. “Everything is futile.” *Ecc 12:8 HCSB
10 Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand. Isaiah 41:10 (NLT2)
6 So, humble yourselves under God’s strong hand, and in his own good time he will lift you up. You can throw the whole weight of your anxieties upon him, for you are his personal concern. 1 Peter 5:6 (Phillips NT)
Rush, rush, rush! Hustle and bustle! Feverish activity! The mad urge to dash about. Amazing material structures … On the spiritual level … shams, illusions: flimsy backdrops, cheesecloth scenery, painted cardboard … Hustle and bustle! And a lot of people running hither and thither. It is because they work thinking only of “today”; their vision is limited to “the present.” But you must see things with the eyes of eternity, “keeping in the present” what has passed and what has yet to come. Calmness. Peace. Intense life within you. Without that wild hurry. Without that mad urge for change. From your own place in life, like a powerful generator of spiritual energy, you will give light and vigor to ever so many without losing your own vitality and your own light.
“slow down, you’re moving to fast, you’ve got to make the morning last!” came to my mind as I read the words in blue this morning. Had to look the lyrics up -they come from a Simon & Garfunkel hit some 4-5 decades ago.
I remember a booklet in high school, that I read, and set aside because it wasn’t relevant to me, yet. It was called Tyranny of the Urgent, and it to came to mind as I read these words of St. Josemaria. As did lessons in my management program about the danger of managing from a reactive position, and the necessity of waiting patiently to see if things resolve.
As I spend more and more time in ministry, I think we have to learn these lessons over again. Not passively or apathetically taking no action, but doing so with intent and deliberation, and a healthy dependence upon God.
That’ is the Teacher in Ecclesiastes had to cope with, as he looked around him and realized the futility of life. It is what the people in Isaiah’s time needed to learn, as they saw their world falling apart. It is what Peter (OF ALL PEOPLE!) advocates to those under pressure because of their faith.
Set all the things causing stress on God, knowing He will help – and keep us able to stand in the midst of a world trying to batter us, trying to break us. He will heal us, His victory over sin and Satan and death becomes ours.
The challenge is in realizing the eternal implications of our life in and with Christ. My son’s teacher asked him this last year, “will this still be an issue in five years?” We should ask a similar question, “how does this affect our eternity?” and then work from that perspective. How does this situation lead people to God’s peace, or away from it? How will God view us, His children differently if we don’t immediately react?
Take a breath… adjust, take a walk and spend the time looking for clues to God’s presence.
God is with you….
Rest in that thought not just a second, try ten minutes, or sixty, or a day!
Repeat that, slowly, “The Lord is with me!”
Be at peace, be still in and awe of the Lord’s work in your life…. and let go of the sense of urgency, the stress of anxiety, and the condemnation of futility.
The Lord is with you!
Escriva, Josemaria. The Way (Kindle Locations 1928-1936). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.