Monday, February 28, 2011

Rattling the World

A few years back, I composed my own epigram about maturity. This is what I wrote:
"Maturity is when you finally come to realize that you cannot rattle the world, and the world no longer rattles you."
I can't remember the set of circumstances from which this epigram arose, but I often see evidence of the truthfulness of it. I can remember my younger days, when I had visions that were world sized in scope. One of my dreams sent me to China (in my mind) to reshape everything there. Then, in 1970 the world traveling opportunities began. First, it was to Mexico, then to Australia and New Zealand. Five years later, to India, then Kenya and Russia, and repeated returns to India.
I was certainly seeing the world, and enjoying the experiences of my travels, but I also realized how immense the world is, and how small an impact I can make upon it. While visiting Russia, I mentioned to my co-workers that Jesus had sent me there to be "a sunbeam for Jesus" (words from a song I learned in church back in the '50's). I was partially speaking with tongue in cheek, but came to understand that my contributions there were like a ray of sunshine in an otherwise dark place. I became content with being a glint of light. It wasn't much, but it was enough.
Now, in my 60's I can see that the bulk of my time in productive ministry is behind me, but perhaps I can still contribute a glint of light in some dark places. I doubt that it will rattle the world, but if it brightens my part of the world, that would be enough.
By the way, The words of that old children's song go something like this:

Jesus wants me for a sunbeam,
To shine for Him each day;
In every way try to please Him,
At home, at school, at play.

A sunbeam, a sunbeam,
Jesus wants me for a sunbeam;
A sunbeam, a sunbeam,
I'll be a sunbeam for Him

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


One morning at the Renovare Conference in San Antonio a while back, the concept of Breath Prayers was introduced, and some examples were given of breath prayers taken from scripture. I had never heard of breath prayers before, but liked the concept as a new take on praying. Breath prayers are phrases we recite back to God. But we can also recite short phrases to ourselves, or as David said, "Why are you downcast, Oh my soul." We can talk to our souls. Since our souls are the center for mind, will, and emotion, the idea of directing our souls on what to think, feel, and decide makes sense.
Therefore,, I can see the value of reciting short snippets of Biblical admonitions to our souls would be a proper daily endeavor. In fact, I suspect that Biblical meditation would most likely amount to ruminations of snippets of scripture to shape our souls. Rather than reading lengthy passages we can't recall later, we might be better served by serving up snippets to repeat to ourselves continuously until we are shaped by them. For example, a snippet from today's devotional thoughts by Oswald Chambers is this line from scripture, "“All my fresh springs shall be in Thee.” (Psalm 87:7) Repeating that snippet to my soul could be refreshing and restorative to a weary soul. I believe there could be benefit from hearing this more than once. Soul, are you listening?