Thursday, September 07, 2006

After a few days of solitude

It was not as hard as I expected, maybe I need to do it longer. :)

It was very good for me to get away, and reflect, study, and pray. I struggled a lot with centering or abiding prayer. My mind is very unruly and I doubt I kept it focused for more than a few minutes at a time. I imagine as with all things this will take practice. Some of the phrases I chose to center on were, "Jesus Christ, the saviour of the world." just the name "Jesus" and the name "YHWH" but like I said it was hard to keep my mind running off chasing every rabbit that hopped up.

The main reason I decided to go away was to help get some resolve for a charactor issue. I explained before that I tended to crave the respect and admiration of men that I respect and admire. I had difficulty realizing that they were father figures in some way, as many of these men are my own age. It was only recently I reallized that my age, is actually the age my father was when I "came of age". So I am still the teenaged boy desperately wanting the approval of dad. And I put that onto God as well, thinking that my heavenly Father is maybe a bit disappointed in me as well.

The problem with the rejection of legalism is, however, that we are left with no objective standard with which to judge our standing with God. We wind up face to face with the Creator of the universe, with no lists with which to hide behind, and justify ourselves with. This is not always a comforting thought. As I seek my Heavenly Fathers approval, I cannot rely on a set of morals acts and ommisions to make me feel like everything is okay. So my weird mind has created this subconsicous way to get this acceptance and approval:

If men that I really respect as Godly, wise and inteligent, like me, and even admire me a bit, then God must be happy with me too.

Ofcourse it is all an attempt to be loved and accepted by God. Something that the bible tells us is already true. It comes back to faith, do I believe it or not? Well today I do!!!

The time away allowed me to understand this much better.

It also gave me a bunch of sermons that I cannot wait to preach on the gospel of Matthew. I will post them here after I have delivered them at the Cave.

rev

4 comments:

Rebecca said...

Rev, sounds like you had a good time away, and that it wasn't as scary as it could have been!

For what it's worth, I too seek other's approval, and need their affirmation that the decisions I make are the right ones. *sigh* Working on that one!

Have you used Taize chants much? I get bored and distracted incredibly easily, and I find that they really help me meditate - because I sing them, rather than just think the same verse over and over, they take hold of me and guide my breathing.

I look forward to reading more of your reflections!

Conrad said...

The struggle for internal value that comes from God is a long journey. I'm on that road too. I wish you well of it.

Richard said...

John,

When I heard that you were off for some time of solitude to hang out with Yahweh...I was excited for you! And indeed it sounds like the time was awesome.

I have found centering prayer...and just being quiet before God to exceptionally powerful in my life. In fact, I would say that it is really necessary to my walk with God. Not easy, but necessary.

Good on you, Bro!

barbara said...

Sounds like you received some helpful and meaningful insight on your time away...that's wonderful. I think I need to get away...