January 22, 2009

Lovely Thoughts Vs. Real Presence

Thursday morning. Busy day ahead. I stayed in last night and went to bed early as I felt the beginning of a cold coming on. I have tried to do this the last couple of times I start feeling poorly. Rather than pushing on when I feel this way if I can I just take cold medicine, vitamins, and go to bed early I can kick the cold before it gets bad. I am feeling better already.

I got quite a bit of reading done last night as I was under my warm blanky's. I am still reading The Road to Daybreak, this has not been a quick read. It is a simple read, but has given much to think on and about, and I am not rushing through it for that reason. As Henri Nouwen is working through his journey to his upcoming calling to live at Daybreak, a home for the mentally disabled, he is thinking about what he would be giving up. This comes from the day entitled Happy Are The Poor, "Three thoughts have stayed with me. First, Jean said that working and living with handicapped people does not become easier the longer you do it. In fact, it often becomes harder, Jean shared his own struggle with us. He said, 'Often I go off in dreams about living and being with the poor, but what the poor need are not my dreams, my beautiful thoughts, my inner reflections, but my concrete presence. There is always the temptation to replace real presence with lovely thoughts about being present.'"

There is always the temptation to replace real presence with lovely thoughts about being present....ouch. This is an area that God has been working with me on for a while now. Years, I guess. Before I had my kids I did invest in lives on a regular basis that were in need. Once I had my kids, especially when they were little, that was my all encompassing job. There was no time to look outside my little box of the world, I felt guilty for it, but eventually I just saw that time as the season I was currently living in. The seasons have changed over the years, my kids are not all encompassing any more, in fact they are great helpers. Over the last couple of years God has been convicting me that "lovely thoughts" are not only a waste of time, but knowing what I should be doing and not doing it is sinful. I don't feel the call to add a bunch of volunteer work into my days, but adding a couple of places where I can invest my life into and share the love of Christ in an intentional way is where I feel led. In the places that I have been intentional about investing my time, I am always blessed, I am always humbled, I am always grateful for the experience. Partially because of the people, but mainly because God shows up in those moments of putting yourself out there for His glory. I can feel His presence clearly when I am out of my comfort zone and in the places of His call.

I was convicted of this call to serve even more while in Dr. Wray's spiritual formation class. He encouraged us to tithe our time not just our money. Ten percent. For every 40 hour work week he tithes 4 hours to help the needy.

The busy-ness of my life seems to take over at times, but the time invested in other people is never wasted. Those moments are the most valuable.


The Walters' Family said...

I would definitely say, and I think several people would agree...your blog is a huge ministry. Your entries are always a source of inspiration for me. I wish I had your talent for continually pointing people to the Lord. I think of how eager the early church was to get a letter from Paul...and your writings encourage, uplift..., too.