This simple exercise of reflecting on my faith and how to make living out my faith seem simple.. I had to empty my schedule today before getting behind and keeping up with the challenge. previous reflections were on Attitude, Believe, Caring, Do not be Afraid….
Back to Attitude, the attitude of Empty (Rather, He emptied Himself _ Philippians 2:7)
How? How does one empty self? What does empty feel like? How to decide what God wants me to have and what I need to let go? But if I have I can share and give!
We know even the wonderful St. Paul struggled with being empty — In Romans 7:19 “For I do not do the good I want, but I do the evil I do not want.” But when we get to Galatians 2:19-20 (seems years later from the beginning of the chapter (14 years??) “I have been crucified with Christ; yet I live, no longer I, but Christ lives in me; …. I live by faith in the Son of God who has loved me and given himself up for me.
The Great St. Augustine, wrote “Give me chastity and continency, only not yet.” He also said, “You move us to delight in praising You; for You have formed us for Yourself, and our hearts are restless till they find rest in You.”
Life is about a process. Emptying isn’t easy and sometimes down right scary.. I always thought if I am not taking care of me, who will take care of me. Yes, I do need to care for me.. I need to care enough to hand it all over to God. Matthew 6:33 – “But seek first the kingdom [of God] and his righteousness, _ and all these things will be given you besides.”
So how do I empty, day in and day out, hand my life over to God. Over and over, Handing myself over until it takes. Placing all I am, all I have, all that I worry about and placing it at the foot of the cross, and repeat as necessary.
When God has it, empty feels like full.. Full of God’s peace, joy, hope, love.. filled with the things God is concerned about, a relationship with Him and people to serve.
I have sometimes thought I knew where God wanted me and what He wanted from me.. But in the journey I have learned God cannot be out given.. I can give all I have and yet He gives more…. I can feel all alone and He gives me Himself and the company of the saints (on earth and in heaven).
I heard a talk long ago where the man said, I don’t pray about what to give God, I give it all to God and only ask what He wants me to keep.
A sermon on going to God with open hands also comes to mind. The priest said, “always go to God with open hands, not only for what we can receive from God but also for what we can give to God”. And then He said, “God will even take your sins as a gift”. God finds joy in taking away our sins.. Grateful for Mercy!
(in need of further reflection) and maybe even an edit…
Songs of emptying and trusting for this morning