Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Surrendering to the Guiding Hand...

I read this morning of an AA meeting in Kinsale, Ireland, where a man named Tony said, “If I had to choose among all the diseases that afflict human beings, I would choose mine [alcoholism], because I can do something about it.” At that meeting (as at each meeting) he introduced himself as “a grateful recovering alcoholic.” When asked why, he said, “Because without the Twelve Steps of this program I never would have found God.” Likewise, in the book of Job, that ruined man of God said, “Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?” (Job 2:10) …

Job again!

I feel like I have bumped into him again and again in recent years. Why does it feel like this book in the bible was written for me?? Do I need any more proof that nothing ever goes away until it teaches us what we need to know?

The late Brennan Manning spoke to my heart this morning with this: "To be grateful for the good things that happen in our lives is easy, but to be grateful for all of our lives—the good as well as the bad, the moments of joy as well as the moments of sorrow, the successes as well as the failures, the rewards as well as the rejections—that requires hard spiritual work. Still, we are only grateful people when we can say thank you to all that has brought us to this present moment. As long as we keep dividing our lives between events and people we would like to remember and those we would rather forget, we cannot claim the fullness of our beings as a gift of God to be grateful for. Let’s not be afraid to look at everything that has brought us to where we are now and trust that we will soon see in it the guiding hand of a loving God."

Take 415 (415,000!).

Let's try this scene again. Relying on the Spirit of God more than my mind or sheer grit to get through the times we may not understand. I am too often assigning value to my circumstances. This is "good." That is "bad." "Bad" we too often push away and refuse to even acknowledge sometimes. We just want it to go away - or end. 

But I am just beginning to grasp that everything - and everyone - is a teacher, revealing areas within ourselves that need some redemption. Even those teachers who make us scream with frustration reveal our own shortcomings on the journey to becoming whole, to becoming more fully aware of His very presence in our lives. IF He is with us, we need not be so consumed with the externals.
I want to be more like my brother Job, like the late Brennan Manning - like the "grateful recovering alcoholic in Ireland" - more fully consumed by Love rather than consumed by all that makes me uncomfortable, resisting my circumstances that are merely challenges to my ego rather than gateways to a greater awareness of my soul. 

May my outer world become a sacred threshold to my inner journey.

He has brought me to this present moment...

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