Offering This Action (September 6, 2012)

…Opening To…

Give yourself fully to God. He will use you to accomplish great things on the condition that you believe much more in His love than in your own weakness. (Mother Theresa)

…Listening In…

Jesus said, “Be dressed for service and keep your lamps lit. Be like people waiting for their master to come home from a wedding celebration, who can immediately open the door for him when he arrives and knocks on the door.” (Luke 12:35-36; context)

…Filling Up…

Even more specific than the day ahead of us is the immediate action ahead of us. And while it is tenaciously difficult to remember to do this, we can offer each of our actions to God, as well as our lives, our years, and our days. To do so we have to install a new spiritual practice into our lives, one that adds a step to our actions.

Anytime we are about to take an action, we go through several steps. Our minds weigh various outcomes. Then we make a decision. Then our bodies grind into motion. Then we act. Sometimes these steps happen in the blink of an eye, like when reacting to a traffic light changing. Sometimes they are drawn out, especially if the action is some sort of life-altering one, like figuring out which college to go to.

Our new spiritual practice adds a step at the beginning of the whole process. Before engaging in the normal series of steps, give to God the action you are contemplating. Before we know if our actions are going to succeed or fail, before we know the consequences, if we pause and give them to God, then we actively invite God into the process that leads to the actions being taken. Rather than reporting to God after the fact, we become aware of God all the way through.

Notice how this will affect the kinds of actions we decide to take. An acquaintance is being bullied in the lunch room. You could join in the bullying or sit back and let it happen, or you could stop, give the impending action to God, and realize that neither of those choices is the kind of offering you desire to make to God. The tiny moment of offering the impending action to God might help you intervene.

When we take on this spiritual practice of mindfully and prayerfully giving our actions to God, we will find that God is so much more present in our lives. God will be no more present than God was before, but our awareness of that presence will be heightened. And our actions will more frequently conform to the life-giving way in which God yearns for us to walk.

…Praying For…

Dear God, you are always sending your will for me into my heart and soul. Help me to pause and discover that will before I act, so that I may invite you into all of my activities. In Jesus Christ’s name I pray. Amen.

…Sending Out…

I leave this moment with you, God, hopeful that I will have the desire and grace to give myself to you.

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