I’d rather blame the instruction manuals, the circumstances, people, and events that shape my days and form my patterns. But externals were never meant to define the inner soul. If they could, we would only need a set of behavioural guidelines and we would be fine.
Textbooks cannot make me love what is good and glory in what is beautiful and treasure what is precious. Only God can do that.
His work starts by strong hints to the heart that there is something better than what I experience, something more, a beauty and glory beyond me.
And His work continues with inklings, urges, signposts telling me “Wrong Way,” all along the winding path of common sense.
Hunger for transcendence, dissatisfaction with terra firma: these two desires play in harmony on the soul, comforting and chaffing, pricking and gnawing, inviting and repulsing . . . all in a single breath.
Without God echo, soul would wither and shrivel in despair and shame. And without stinking wreckage of man’s folly strewn over the footpath, soul would careen to ultimate demise.
Checks and guards, some painful prodding, sometimes yanking away from foolish tributaries . . . this Shepherded journey leads on: a clear trail home carved around faulty, treacherous footpaths.
And in the pain of the rod, the discomfort of staff, the upsetting of foregone conclusions about life and living, one comfort repeats: He is with me.
“Your rod and Your staff comfort me.”
“I will fear no evil, for You are with me.”
“You have hedged me behind and before, and laid Your hand upon me.”
P.S. I wrote this a week ago, but let it simmer and stew a while before posting . . . still smarting from a Divine spanking, bashful at the undoing, healing power of Grace, and just not sure about words in this busyness.