Upper Room Disciplines 2014: God endows each of us with particular gifts and abilities and then tries to encourage and inspire us to develop and use those gifts. That rarely happens fully or without the distortion of human sin. Still, God calls us to particular tasks or endeavors in the service of love and mercy. God knows that there are no perfect humans to be found to accomplish holy purposes; so instead, God chooses people like us – people who are available…Neither does God always choose the firstborn, the rightful heir, the one with seniority, the obviously qualified. God does not allow human conventions or traditions to get in the way of God’s will. Seemingly, God does choose the person most able to accomplish God’s desires. (228)
Rokelle Lerner, Daily Affirmations: I will view all new situations as occasions for a richer life. I will value all people I come into contact with as teachers giving lessons in survival, speaking volumes in smiles and postures, carving whole histories in the creases of cupped hands….Today I trust and delight in my capacity for rejuvenation, and I shake off the fears and doubts that would drag me down. I will burst the confines of habit and stale routine and enter an arena alive with variety and diversity. I will feel expansion and joy in rejuvenation. (188)
Kelli: How are the two quotes above related? Often when God calls us to a task outside our comfort zone that seems to be serving someone else, God is resurrecting/rejuvenating/recreating our hearts at the very same time.
Thomas Merton: This morning, the indescribable magnificence of the dawn. Cirrus clouds on the horizon, first glowing with angry and subtle purple fire, then growing into a great mottled curtain of iridescent flame, of what color I don’t know. But off to the south, a pile of mottled grey with all kinds of delicate pink highlights in it, like some Oriental porcelain. St. Eucherius on that sunrise! “Think of how much more the splendor if the light will be for us in the future, if it shines upon us so brilliantly now. In what magnificent form will the light shine on eternal things, when it shines so beautifully now on what is passing away!” July 28, 1962, Journal IV. 234
Thomas Keating, Fruits and Gifts of the Spirit: The second fruit of the Spirit is JOY. Joy is an abiding sense of well-being based on the experience of a conscious relationship with God. It is the sign of liberation from the false self and the growing awareness of the true self. Flowing from joy comes the freedom to accept the present moment and its content without trying to change it. (italics mine) (18)
Kelli: In the changes and chances of this life (which seem a little overwhelming to many of us today), joy seems far off, some sort of cosmic joke. What I need is practice in what is italicized above – the freedom to accept the present moment and its content without trying to change it.