Saturday, July 09, 2011

reading slowly

   I’ve been getting into Eugene Peterson’s The Message translation of the Bible.  We were reading the Beatitudes last night.  There’s so much hope here; each sentence is a tasty morsel worth savouring slowly.  I find that certain beatitudes stand out to me, speaking to me about where I am in my life. 

You're blessed when you're at the end of your rope.
With less of you there is more of God and his rule.

  You're blessed when you feel you've lost what is most dear to you.
Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you.
  You're blessed when you're content with just who you are—no more, no less. That's the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can't be bought. 

  You're blessed when you've worked up a good appetite for God.
He's food and drink in the best meal you'll ever eat. 

  You're blessed when you care.
At the moment of being 'care-full,' you find yourselves cared for.
  You're blessed when you get your inside world—your mind and heart—put right. Then you can see God in the outside world. 

  You're blessed when you can show people how to cooperate instead of compete or fight.
That's when you discover who you really are, and your place in God's family. 

  You're blessed when your commitment to God provokes persecution.
The persecution drives you even deeper into God's kingdom.

The Message (Matthew 5:1-10)

   There are these moments that come when I find myself really wrestling with what direction I’m heading, and I’m wondering, “God, what’s happening here?  Where is this going?”  There’s this struggle that I think a lot of us face all too often where a barrage of questioning and wondering and guilt and worry gets stirred up inside of us.  Inside of me.  I have a choice in that moment: I can succumb to that overwhelming, pressing deluge or I can surrender myself to the care of my God. 

   And if I do that, if I surrender myself to Him, He takes that ugly mixture of pain and stress and anger and fear and he begins to work on me until suddenly I don’t see the storm anymore.  That’s where I find myself in the beatitudes: in the 6th one, where my inside world—my mind and heart—are put right.  And then I can start to see the bigger picture: the ways in which God is so deeply at work in my life and in our world.

   And I know that I have been blessed.

1 comment:

  1. There are three of these Beatitudes (I love this version) that stand out to me but the one that resonates in me the most is number 6.

    "You're blessed when you get you're inside world--your mind and heart-- put right. Then you can see God in your outside world."

    The struggle you are describing in the second last paragraph I am all too familiar with. I've slowly learned that I do have a choice "in that moment". However when "in the moment" it is a struggle sometimes to make the best choice and surrender to God.

    God's word and this post have stirred me up inside. There is so much wisdom here.


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