In the past, I read scripture each day and did not spend enough time contemplating its meaning. So the intended lessons never stuck with me. Eventually, it occurred to me that I could write down my thoughts about the readings. This simple act s-l-o-w-e-d me down enough to think about it and it became my primary motivation in writing here.
After I wrote a few hundred posts that totaled upwards of 112,000 words to reflect on the daily readings, I see that this experience has begun to transform my faith.
Ironically, I learned something else when I took off last week from writing because I went on vacation with my family.
Vacation is a time of reflection and renewal, when I can take a break from our daily routine and relax completely. It is a blessing and a gift. Although I read the daily scripture readings and prayed while on vacation, I could not recall most the lessons from the week because I was not spending enough time with them – I slipped back into my old habit!
I noticed something else though — that I felt detached from God.
This makes sense to me because I understand that my conversations with God consists of two parts: 1) my prayer to him and 2) His response to me in the Living Word.
Since I was not listening closely enough to him, I felt apart.
It’s similar to how I feel when my wife and I do not spend time each day in at least one focused conversation. Some days, we need only a few minutes and other days, we a couple of hours to connect and share. But if too many consecutive days pass without a real conversation, then we begin to feel separated.
I have observed the times in my marriage when many days, even weeks had passed without real conversations with my wife led to a feeling of darkness – even despair. Likewise when I am not in a two-way conversation with God, I begin to forget the light he brings to my life.
Today’s reading from the Isaiah reminds me of what God offers each of us:
“I have grasped you by the hand;
I formed you, and set you
as a covenant of the people,
a light for the nations,
To open the eyes of the blind,
to bring out prisoners from confinement,
and from the dungeon, those who live in darkness.”
So when I pray and read scripture, I can escape my prisoner’s confinement. I can emerge from the darkness in the wet and scary dungeon and into the light of God.
I hope you have a blessed Holy Week as we culminate on Sunday with our celebration of the Resurrection of the Lord. You are all in my prayers and I missed everyone last week!
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