Steeped in God-RealityOct 20, 2021
“Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.
“Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.” (Matthew 6:33-34 MSG)
One of the ways I (Alan) sometimes engage a passage like this one is to work through three questions:
- How does this passage speak to me?
- How does this passage stir my heart?
- To what is this passage inviting me today?
After I read this passage from Jesus’s Sermon on the Mount, here was my journal response to it, framed by those questions:
How does this passage speak to me? I can steep my life in God’s presence, God’s plans, and God’s provision. I want to be richly aware of who God is and what God does. I don’t want my life to be watery tea but strong coffee. I want my life to be heated by God Himself. I don’t want to be lukewarm or cold.
Whatever there is that worries me right now will take care of itself if I’ll be attentive first to God’s presence and God’s activity. If I let myself “get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow,” I’m no longer focusing my attention on God now.
How does this passage stir my heart? I feel invited into God-reality, but I also feel tentative with my ability to carry out this intention. I’ve felt so distractable lately. I feel a deep need for simple, focused attention. I feel hungry for a simpler heart and mind. I feel grateful that God wants this for me more than I want it for myself.
To what is this passage inviting me today? What verbs help me hear God’s invitation? Steep your life. Don’t worry. Give your attention. Don’t get worked up.
Once I’ve reflected and responded to a passage, I’ll often take 15 minutes to simply sit alone and quiet with God. These days, I usually sit in my backyard in the cool of the morning and watch for and listen to the birds. My sense of their non-anxious presence is often a great gift of grace to me. They help me pay attention to the God who made them…and me.
- How does this way of reflecting on scripture strike you?
- Does it look familiar? Inviting?
- Try reading a small passage from a gospel or letter and let these three questions guide a time of reflection and prayer.
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