At the moment, I’m reading three books at the same time: (1) a collection of WWII reports written by correspondent Ernie Pyle; (2) an attempt by an English Anglican Professor of Divinity to give the “perplexed” man’s philosophical search for God down through the centuries; and (3) the above sequel to “The Holy Longing” which was supposed to answer the questions of future generations as to why we remained committed to both Christ and the Church. Ernie’s is like a devotional, able to be dismissed for a few days without losing his historical record of men in battle. While supplying me with an idea of how many famous men developed their theology, the professor, at least a few times already, spins a C.S. Lewis-like debate on the reality of God’s existence, with little mention of Jesus having eliminated that whole issue, and brings me, on occasion, to a need of relaxing my brain. Thus, last night, not in the mood to climb into another foxhole and fight the Nazis, I picked up “Sacred Fire” again after as much as a three-week abandonment. Some seven chapters into it, the author seemed to have changed horses in midstream, his course failing, in my opinion, to fulfill its original purpose, his words simply repeating religious, pulpit discourse heard before many times during the past four decades. A brain thus dulled, though, can often return to the same source later, refreshed, somewhat renewed, and discover manna overlooked. Prayer, indeed, is communication not always successful in the sense of establishing assured contact between heaven and earth. Such manner of maintaining relationship isn’t always an immediate “stepping through the veil” into an encounter with God. It doesn’t mean our petition is wasted. Nor does it signify our faith was less than sufficient to negotiate entrance into the throne-room. Contact is a matter of His wisdom and our surrender, an act wherein we give reverence, rest on that which He has already established in the depths of our being, and fall into His arms somewhere in our “belly” rather than trying to force a “hook-up” in our head. It is a “follow Me” stumble down the path holding on to the anchor-line…..
Sunday, October 19, 2014
”Do we ever really understand or master prayer? Yes and no. When we try to pray, sometimes we walk on water, and sometimes we sink like a stone. Sometimes we have a deep sense of God’s reality, and sometimes we cannot even imagine that God exists. Sometimes we would like to stay in our prayer place forever, and sometimes we wonder why we even showed up. Prayer has a huge ebb and flow. But… we can also expect, through the years, an ever deepening intimacy with our God.” – Ron Rolheiser, “Sacred Fire”
Posted by Jim at 7:35 AM