Tuesday, September 13, 2011

My Rubbish

Tuesday, September 13, 2011 -- Week of Proper 19, Year One
John Chrysostom, Bishop of Constantinople, 407


Today's Readings for the Daily Office (Book of Common Prayer, p. 984)
Psalms 61, 62 (morning)      68:1-20(21-23)24-36 (evening) 
1 Kings 21:17-29
1 Corinthians 1:20-31
Matthew 4:12-17


For God alone my soul in silence waits;
     from God comes my salvation.


God alone is my rock and my salvation,
    my stronghold, so that I shall not be greatly shaken.


How long will you assail me to crush me,
all of you together,
     as if you were a leaning fence, a toppling wall?
                                                       (Psalms 62:1-3)
                                                       St. Helena Psalter


[God] is the source of your life in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification and redemption...  (I Corinthians 1:30)


I have an incredibly easy life.  A loving family.  So many friends and good colleagues to share work.  Good health.  A great community.  No enemies.  No really significant problems.  ...Except.  I let my "to do" list (and unanswered email) "assail me to crush me, all of you together, as if you were a leaning fence, a toppling wall."  As I write this, it even sounds like whining.


My crippling myth is that if I get a little extra time, and if I work hard and fast enough, I'll catch up and get it all done.  Somebody calls that "practical atheism."  It's  all up to me.  I've got to do it, and if I don't, nobody will, and...  Well...  Catastrophe!!


What rubbish.  


That's my personal version of Paul's pre-Damascus Road pathology.  Paul was trying to be perfect, and doing a pretty good job of it.  But he suffered from performance anxiety and couldn't relax, and just be.  My performance anxiety is less compelling than Paul's.  At least he was anxious about pleasing God.  I'm just anxious about my silly email/to-do list.


Stop.  Quit.  Surrender.


For God alone my soul in silence waits; from God comes my salvation.  God alone is my rock and my salvation, my stronghold, so that I shall not be greatly shaken.  


God is the source of your life in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification and redemption.


So I relax.  Center.  Give it all to God.  Then, do what I can, relaxed and connected, moment by moment.  And leave the universe to God.  Including my email and my to do list.  (Seems like I get more done that way too.)


Lowell

Audio podcast:  Listen to an audio podcast of the most recent Morning Reflections from today and the past week.  Click the following link:
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Morning Reflection Podcasts

About Morning Reflections
"Morning Reflections" is a brief thought about the scripture readings from the Daily Office of Morning and Evening Prayer according to the practice found in the Book of Common Prayer of the Episcopal Church.

Morning Prayer begins on p. 80 of the Book of Common Prayer.
Evening Prayer begins on p. 117
An online resource for praying the Daily Office is found at missionstclare.com -- Click for online Daily Office
Another form of the office from Phyllis Tickle's "Divine Hours" is available on our partner web site www.ExploreFaith.org at this location -- http://explorefaith.org/prayer/fixed/index.html --  Click for Divine Hours

Discussion Blog:  To comment on today's reflection or readings, go to http://lowellsblog.blogspot.com, or click here for Lowell's blog find today's reading, click "comment" at the bottom of the reading, and post your thoughts.


The Mission of St. Paul's Episcopal Church
is to explore and celebrate
God's infinite grace, acceptance, and love.

See our Web site at www.stpaulsfay.org

Our Rule of Life: 
We aspire to...
    worship weekly
    pray daily
    learn constantly
    serve joyfully 
    live generously.

Lowell Grisham, Rector
St. Paul's Episcopal Church
Fayetteville, Arkansas

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