February 6, 2017 | JOHN RAY
If there is a word or an image guiding my prayer and imagination in recent months, it’s the idea that “to move freely, one must be deeply rooted.” Like many deep truths, this is something of a paradox, something we must attend to at a deeper level if we are to learn from it. To that end, I have adapted it to a simple prayer, one that I pray as part of my devotional practices and at intervals when I find myself distracted or stretched, tempted or lethargic.
I encourage you to do the same.
“Abba, You have set me free to love, to live and to serve. You have rooted me deeply in Your Spirit, Your Church and Your Word. I fix my eyes on Jesus, the author and perfector of my faith, through the power of the Holy Spirit to the glory of the Father. Amen.”
In our either/or culture, we want it one way or the other, don’t we? We want to be a
ll about doing, or all about stillness and contemplation. We want to either be “getting stuff done” or “letting go to let God.”
There are definitely seasons of action and rest, but most of our daily lives have to be a synergy of both. Freely acting, while deeply rooted. Always moving, while also resting. This is where the “peace like a river” image might be helpful.
Ford relates something of this on page 175 of The Abundant Life. It’s finding the current in the river that takes us around the rocks and roots, through the rapids. Not moving is stagnation and death; constantly being tossed by waves and battered by rocks is torture and chaos. The way of Christ is the current that avoids both.
All these thoughts have been informed by some lectures I have been listening to by NT Wright. They are rather “heady” and might be a bit much all at once, but please give them a try. It’s important stuff. Let them play in the background while you work or drive. I would also encourage you to listen while your kids are within earshot. I think we might be surprised by what they pick up on.
I’ll be traveling the next couple of Sunday evenings and would appreciate your prayers. I am headed to Texas to visit a friend severely injured in a car wreck and to take care of my father to give my stepmom a brief break. Then I’ll travel to Costa Rica to teach for a week in the Youth With A Mission (YWAM) Discipleship Training School.
Also, Greg Russinger is booked for March 10-12! Start making plans now.
Grace and peace, y’all,
“For the righteousness of God goes far beyond mere deeds, and requires of us love and helping mercy as our highest obligation, and justice to our fellow humans, those of them too who have done nothing for us – those even who have done us wrong. Our relations with others, God first and then our neighbors, must one day become as in true nature they are, the gladness of our being; and nothing then will ever appear good for us that is not in harmony with those blessed relations.” - George MacDonald