Today is day 42 of a 50 day spiritual adventure. One negative by-product of such an endeavor is that we clearly see how fast time passes. The joyful expectations of the New Year and the commitment to “change somethings, once and for all” have given way to the frustration over missing several days and the drudgery of another “hang on to the end” program. Whether it’s lose a few pounds, get back on the treadmill, or be more consistent in my prayer life, by now many of us are feeling like we have proven once again that discipline is a four-letter word and we just don’t have it in us. Not true, Grasshopper!
Every forward movement is a victory. Each step I take towards God is a permanent improvement that can’t be undone. Oh, I may fall along the way, even give up and backslide, but in those moments of forward progress God has been doing things in me and saying things to me that will stay a forever part of me. The next time I pick it up I have a deeper measure of insight, a warmer place of affection, a greater base of wisdom than I did before. Unlike the diet and the treadmill, the positive work that I have done is not undone. It lies dormant in me, waiting to be revived and reenergized on my next adventure. Like Peter and Lucy going through the wardrobe in the Chronicles of Narnia, I leave but when I come back Narnia is still waiting for me, more amazing than when I left it.
Today is a good day to catch up a little. Read Genesis 42, Psalm 42, and Acts 18-19, fairly easy reading chapters, all of these, pretty straightforward in moving the story along. This is also a good day to make sure to get your three times of prayer in and to find one simple little random, maybe anonymous act of kindness to do in the Name of Jesus and make the world better.
While you are praying, Doris and I are leading a Marriage Retreat this weekend for the Christian Indian Fellowship in Brentwood, TN. Pray that the presentation of the Gospel would not be hindered by cultural differences but that we would be able to testify to the amazing grace of God that knows no barriers.
And speaking of retreats, on March 10-12, I am hosting the 3rd David Pierce Men’s Retreat at the Funny Farm in Charlotte, TN. There is room for 10 more men. It will be a small, shoulder-to-shoulder, weekend where mean learn to connect and to confront those things that hold us back from being the spiritual leaders that God has called us to be. Men, give your wives a special Valentine’s gift. Sign yourself up for the this retreat. J
It’s Saturday morning, no funny stories today, no practical applications. Today just a thought from Richard Rohr. I am teaching a series on vulnerability at our church. Here’s what he says, “In my experience, healthily vulnerable people use every occasion to expand, change and grow. Yet it is a risky position to live undefended, in a kind of constant openness to the other—because it means that others can sometimes actually wound you. But only if we choose to take this risk do we allow the exact other possibility; the other might also gift you, free you and even love you.” In Genesis 42 Joseph is dancing on the edge of vulnerability, trying feel his brothers out, to see if they are safe. Psalm 42 is a passionate, vulnerable cry for reconnecting intimately with God. And Acts 18-19, Paul continues to be vulnerable for the Gospel, sometimes well received and sometimes not. The call today is for vulnerability.
You have been amazing in your vulnerability and your willingness to come so far. Thank you. It is a delight to take this journey with you. See you tomorrow.