October 15, 2008

Blessed Are the Poor in Spirit

Funny that I intended all along to post about the poverty of the spirit and upon attempting to compose my thoughts on this needful topic I discovered that I am one who is spiritually impoverished. I intended to wag my finger at the busyness that distracts us from truly living. I was prepared to bring to light the shallow substitutes which fail to satisfy. I had decided to comment on the obvious growing hunger for matters of the spirit in our day and age. All this and more but I found the writing too difficult and too personal for I am guilty of busyness, and hunger, and shallow substitutes. Rather than offer my observations I find that I must proffer my confessions.

I am a busy man. I have found myself in recent weeks wondering where the time to spend with my family has gone. But another committee meeting beckons, another visit to the hospital must be made, the sermon must be prepared, the bills paid, the grass cut, the dog washed, and the dryer vent repaired.

I remember these feelings from my days in suburban hell.
The guilt of simply standing still for a few moments.
The paralysis of overwhelming demands.
The feeling of falling ever further behind.

I have filled my belly with the junk food all to readily available in our culture rather than the satisfying spiritual food I know to feed upon.

Looking for the latest scrap of election news until I am sick of hearing about it. Please don't let another automated call come through my phone line! (I have promised dire consequences should my bride EVER make another political contribution! It will be years before we are out of those systems, if ever.)

It's the economy stupid! Watching the roller coaster that has become the Dow Jones Index has become something of a hobby of late.

Sports binges are all the rage right now. All day Saturday football. ALCS and NLCS (and I'm not even a baseball fan!). Collegiate basketball just around the corner. I even accepted the "Free 8 week trial offer" of Sports Illustrated. I already hate to see the thing in my mailbox.

I know the growing hunger for spiritual food to sustain me. I know it because I need it. I know the heart cry of the Psalmist who says, "My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with Him?" (Psalm 42:2). I understand the wonder on the faces of those who heard Jesus say, "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink" (John 7:37). I feel the thrill of the woman at the well when she was told she would never thirst again if she would but drink (John 4:13-15).

I am thirsty.

I am also blessed for I know that my thirst is not imposed upon me by a vindictive God. No, my thirst is of my own making.

To drink I simply return.

Once again I am surprised by the wonder of grace.



2 comments:

Sojourner said...

Sounds like the Martha Mary effect! It's hard to just set at the Master's feet. But what refreshing ease we receive when we stop long enough to take a sip from that living cup!

Paul Thompson said...

John,
Sometimes I wonder if a pastor in Alabama is somehow part of a strange parallel dimension of a pastor in Idaho. I'm walking through the sermon on the mount on Wednesday nights. It is an amazing word isn't it?! (that's both a statement and question at the same time)

Thanks for your transparent post. It's both encouraging and humbling.

I pray God will speak boldly through you this coming Lord's Day.