Saturday, December 19, 2009

Some Spiritual Lessons

Back at the end of October and in early November I wrote about what I have been up to: where God has been most active in my life, and all the things I do besides parenting and math teaching.

So this December I probably will not send out a holiday or New Year's card to friends and family. (My wife and I have done that most years since our marriage, but not every year.)

But this past year has taught me some spiritual lessons that are worth sharing with friends and family but did not fit into either of those previous blog essays. So here they are, in no particular order.
Many religions teach about being constantly mindful of God. But scripture calls us to something deeper: to be constantly conversational with God.

Becoming a parent did not lessen my sense of personal entitlement. But it did compact it. I can pack a whole lot of entitlement into enjoying my morning cup of tea before I leave for work or Smiley wakes up. Spiritually this is as problematic as if all that entitlement was spread out through the day.

God's great love is seen in his eagerness to suffer so much for children he knows will continue to be distant and resistant to being fixed. (His greatest suffering happened once, to bring nearness and health to his distant and hurting children. But that event, although awe-inspiring, was not about his greatest frustration nor most enduring demonstration of love.)

A good father allows his children to help, or even participate while imagining they are helping. For example, I let Smiley "help" me pushing the wheelbarrow even though it only makes that task slower and trickier. Thus it is appropriate that salvation, something done for us and to us for which we must agree and make room but we cannot help, was provided through a personality other than fatherhood.

Yeshua did evangelism by saying "come and see" and visiting people. His goal was very friendly disciples whose lives were visibly full of his life. I again need to work on having greater kindness and warmth.

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