about a month ago i started my second of three years in a course to become a spiritual director. it wasn’t until a couple of years ago that i had even heard the term much less been to one. but as i heard what they did and then of the program to get you ready, i was immediately thrilled.
the first year of the journey is all about different practices. different means of creating space for God to come and meet you in. prayer practices. walks. some of them are much more difficult than others. some of them resonate deep in my spirit every time. by the end of last year i had grown to a place where sitting in silence with God listening and meditating on a scripture for 20-30 minutes was no big deal. delightful even. but i also learned which practices i really enjoyed. which ones were harder for me and why they were so.
this year we are going through the ignatius journey. i am thrilled at the idea of it though getting the rhythm of it down is a little more difficult. it is a commitment of about an hour a day. maybe that isn’t anything big to you but it is for me. the first week was hard…distant, cold. though i have continually made an effort to make room for God, it has felt distant. the second week started to get closer, softer. right now i am in the fourth week and God is rocking my world.
yesterday i sat with a scripture about john. john’s disciples come to him telling him essentially that Jesus is stealing everyone. hahahahah man. my first thought was well they sure missed the point and then i can’t help but laugh when i wonder how many times that has been God’s response to me.
john’s response was incredible. he goes on to explain that we can’t receive anything unless it comes from heaven. this man was so resolute in his belief and understanding. he was willing to take promotion as well as demotion because he understood that Jesus must increase and he would decrease.
and as i was meditating on that i thought then of the story of john in prison. john is in prison and he sends his disciples to Jesus to ask if He actually is the Messiah. so these disciples walk up to Jesus in the midst of crowds and have the audacity to ask Him if He actually is the Saviour. haha but the best part is Jesus’ response. the next verse just says that in the next hour many were healed, set free from demons, blind eyes were opened, etc. then he tells them to go tell john all that they saw.
i think i felt a bit of relief. i am not in fact the worst christian ever. if john who walked physically with God and saw first hand the works Jesus did and still wondered if he heard right surely there is grace for me when i am sure i hear Him but wonder when it goes terribly awry.
now i had heard a word like this before….someone important told me that just because it doesn’t look like God doesn’t mean it isn’t. meaning just because He calls you to do something and then it is hard or doesn’t look like it is going well doesn’t mean He didn’t call you there. and as i meditated on this scripture the reality settled in my heart.
Jesus was still Lord even if He didn’t rescue john from prison. He was still Lord though people in His hometown didn’t get healed. He is still Lord when He calls me to singleness and it’s hard. or to quit my job and He does something different than just giving me a job. He is still Lord when i experience pain or loss or joy or pleasure.
and the even more beautiful thing is that He walked through all of that before i did. He walked through life unmarried. He was betrayed by those He loved. He was left by his closest friends in the garden. He died on a cross bearing the sin of people who didn’t believe in Him. He asked God for another way around it but still submitted to what God had planned…for me.
i don’t know about you but that is the God i wanna look like. that is the God i wanna follow. the one who comes and lives in the places i live and experiences the pain i experience. who lives as a human all for the sake of loving me well. what a beautiful sacrifice. it inspires nothing short of everything in me to cry out: yes! my life is yours!