Wednesday, January 28, 2015

The Good Life

I’m as satisfied as could be. Warm, well-fed and rested, surrounded by friends and settled knowing that my family is safe, secure and waiting for me when I return, I couldn’t, in good conscience, desire more. Added to that is the fact that I’m enjoying a new book by an established spiritual mentor. The Nebraska state sign I read as a child passes through my mind; The Good Life.

“…Jesus withdrew from that place” (Matt 12:15)

Earlier today, we engaged in a mandatory time of silence. I had looked forward to this two hour block of time for months. St. Paul’s letter to the Ephesians was the source of my input while my MacBook mediated my output. I was determined to do more reading, writing and processing in the first hour than I had done in the previous week. I spent the second hour in prayer while exploring one of the northern Hungarian hills.

“When Jesus heard what happened, he withdrew…” (Matt 14:13)

Intentional silence allowed me to meditate. As I read Scripture, prayed and subsequently processed events from the previous couple days, I was convinced that I need to seek more. Paul prayed for the Ephesians that they would receive “the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better”. I was challenged to pray that for myself, to continue to seek the Lord more deeply and to in turn pray for others in the same way Paul did. 

“Jesus then left them and went away.” (Matt 16:4)

Isn’t it interesting that in Ephesians Paul cared more for the spiritual state of his friends than the circumstances they were enduring? As Keller notes, this is true of most of Paul’s prayers. As I consider the text, and the state of comfort I’m in now, I give thanks. 

Father, thank you for this period of renewal. Thank you that your son set an example of withdrawing and that even you - Creator of the universe - rested. 

Thank you for the place and state I’m in now. Yet, may my comfort be found more in you and less in my circumstances. When this period passes and the storm comes, may my peace be found in you. You are good and the source of all goodness. You are life and the source of life abundant. You, and you alone, are the source of the good life. 

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