Friday, November 21, 2008

A Slow, Demanding Generosity

I'm turning down the corners on favourite pages of the library book I'm currently reading. Wouldn't that get a harsh look from my grade three teacher if she could see me now! The other night as I was reading I realized I should have a stash of sticky notes by my side. My grade three teacher would have loved sticky notes.

Here's a bit that got my attention last night as I read:

"'What God does in us always produces humiliy,' writes the Carmelite Ruth Burrows. "All that comes from self, be it delight or suffering, tends to boost the ego. She regards any authentic religious experience as entailing 'a slow, demanding generosity,' one that does not short-circuit within us but flows outward naturally, until what we believe becomes what we do. The thrust of many self-help authors,however, seems to be to assure people that the ultimate goal of their spiritual practice is to reveal what good and deserving people they are."

As I read this quote I thought of the handful of times when I was greatly humbled by the work of God in my life. Times when I was keenly aware that the change within had nothing whatsoever to do with me but with God. Times when those things that I cannot change on my own strength were somehow different. It always feels like a miracle when God does for me what I cannot do for myself. I often wish that feeling of humility would last forever, it is such a softening and openness, of walls down and brokeness, but soon I am back into my own ego driven life. The above quote does give me great hope, though. I do believe that one day I won't even take so much notice of my life but let it be as it is and trust that as I open myself to God, God continues to work behind the scenes. The outcome in some ways, is none of my concern.


Gabriella Moonlight said...

OH thank you for the comment, I am enthralled with your blog, I am so glad to have found you...

Off to read more!

Take care,

beth said...

This was particularly meaningful to me tonight.

I read you daily. Have come to view your consistent presence here as part of my devotional life.

I am so grateful for you.

Hope said...

Thank you both for your's humbling.

Pru said...

You're turning down the corners in LIBRARY BOOKS? I'm not your 3rd grade teacher but I am a little horrified. Perhaps I'll get you some pretty sticky notes for Christmas!
And it's true about God being a great humbling factor. A little irritating to me right now for some reason but it's true.