Rewarded by my Father
“And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. “And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. Pray then like this: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
There are rewards waiting me this year. What I must do is invest in talking to God about my view of reality, my physical, social and spiritual needs. I need to work at opening my mind and spirit up to renewal through speaking to the source of all that is transcendent and ultimate. By faith I need to go beyond whining about the obscurity of life as now experienced ‘through a glass darkly’ and instead trust that Love is leading somewhere and that I am invited.
Part 1: God is the Ultimate: they kingdom come, they will be done, right before us (earth) like right around us (the heavens in which we live but do not see clearly). Tell God (which forces my spirit to choose) that I want to perceive and experience life based on the unseen reality of God in charge here and now. I will have to continually rethink to be able to do this (Mt 4:17, Jesus message).
Part 2: Daily sustenance is from God. The coffee I want, the calories I need (and all the ones I don’t need) are available because of God. If I am not attentive, the immediate (stuff in front of me) will blind me to that which causes me and the stuff to exist and have function and meaning (God).
Part 3: Debt dropping is not lazy, it is important work. As much as I would like to believe that my nurturing of offense and scheming how to right everyone’s wrongs is my righteous duty unto the LORD…I have to learn that it is not. In fact, the opposite is true. Getting on with getting right with God is largely about getting off of getting on everyone else’s case. There are plenty of things I need to work on, and the biggest help I need from others, and often hit them up for, is a little space regarding my failures toward them. I should do the same. Keeping the target on me and my deviations will be greatly enhanced when I stop scoping others with an eye to eliminate.
Part 4: Sin is crouching at the door, and it usually pounces via cleverness. If I can redefine and rationalize, I can do anything (or so it seems). My need is to not get fooled into foolish thoughts which justify foolish comments and behaviors. My spiritual goals and dreams are not served by manipulating reality. God help me to see that you are what gave rise to this whole complex world that dazzles and confounds, and that you are what will matter at the end so you really should be what matters to me now.
All of this is summed up in the painful part about realizing that a proper view of God and his world will most substantially impact the way I criticize others (or resign from such). When I realize how non-lazy, but gracious, God has been on working with me in spite of my failures and absurdities, pursuing his character will necessarily mean getting off the drive to justify myself by articulating all the injustices suffered by the foolishness of others. More of God in my focus will diminish my obsession with what is too often true, and will instead set me to envision what could be more meaningfully true.
God take charge, I ask in Jesus’ name.
Rewarded by my Father