Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Today’s text

Mark 10:13-16

People were bringing little children to him, for him to touch them. The disciples scolded them, but when Jesus saw this he was indignant and said to them, 'Let the little children come to me; do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs. In truth I tell you, anyone who does not welcome the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.' Then he embraced them, laid his hands on them and gave them his blessing.


There is a time to receive and a time to give, a time be blessed and a time to bless.

I have reached the time to bless, the time to give, Jesus time. More on that in a moment.

One might object that it is always time to bless and give, just as it is always time to receive blessing and grace from others

Early in one’s life there is more blessing be received than given. It is the natural way of life, easily seen when we are children. We need to receive--food, clothing, teaching and encouragement. You get the idea.

Aging, we take on greater responsibility for ourselves and others--children, students, younger less experienced people at our jobs and in our professions. We pass on what we know; sharing the wisdom and grace we have received in living.

I recently had a birthday with a ‘0’ in it … 60.

The number doesn’t bother me at all, nor does having reached an age that I couldn’t imagine being when I was younger. I don’t look or feel anything like I imagined 60 would be.

In younger years, I thought of what it would be like to reach this age, but I didn’t think I would have this much energy or joy. I didn’t imagine the sense of purpose I feel or the anticipation of what is to come. I didn’t think I’d have this much desire to grow richer and deeper in mind and heart. I thought such growth in would largely be done. Not so.

The big change I notice is that I need less and want to give more.

I devoted so much … too much of my life to filling holes in my heart, proving I was competent, a worthwhile human being to be taken seriously. I was hungry for encouragement and affirmation, needing to know I was okay, accepted and acceptable. I needed a great deal approval and worked hard (ridiculously so) to earn it.

It was never enough. What I needed was to know … and accept … blessing, the blessing of love that cherished me, no matter if I was doing well or not.

There were those beloved hearts along the way who blessed me. Often, I treated their blessing as if it were something I earned (or needed to earn) by my efforts, not as a gift of grace from those--friends, family, spouse--who wanted only that I should be myself, the soul I am and receive the grace they gave.

Somewhere on the way to 60 (I am a slow learner) enough blessing has seeped into my heart that there are fewer holes in me that need filling.

I feel richer, more complete and full of the grace that is the substance of God’s own heart. I have certainly given much to others and blessed them in the course of my life and ministry. But I have reached a point where blessing others, not being blessed is primary.

Grace received has topped the reservoir of my heart and spills out more naturally. This is not an accomplishment but the consequence of receiving the grace and love God through prayer and from other lives for many years.

This is a very good and consoling place to be.

I know what Jesus felt when he took children into his arms and blessed them. He did not feel less. He did not feel depleted.

He experienced the loving grace of an Infinite Soul filling and flowing out him, raising smiles and beauty on the faces of others. And when he was done blessing them, he felt more full than when he started.

Pr. David L. Miller

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