How is it going with your journaling, painting, or music? Where is God finding you today? Let’s go back to my therapist. On my way to her office, I often find myself planning what I would like to share. My thoughts run ahead, and I start to think about her possible responses. In turn, I formulate responses to her responses, until the whole session is mapped out in detail in my mind, leaving me questioning why I need to see a therapist in the first place! (I recognize this is silly.)
Then I arrive, and she asks the predictable, “Where do I find you?” I don’t know why, but from that point on, the sessions rarely follow the route I had mapped out. Expectations are not always reality, especially when we open ourselves to the possibility of being guided.
Jesus highlights this point by posing a thought-problem that shows that the disciples’ expectations are somewhat “off the path.” They expected Jesus to respond to their request for more faith by saying, “Sure, here you go—another helping of faith! Who wants more?” The reality was more challenging, and I paraphrase: “Faith is not something you acquire; it asks that you trust and obey.”
In my therapist’s office, when I have talked about what I think my road should look like, I need to spend some time listening, being challenged, and receiving suggestions. I need to leave the session with a certain measure of trust, knowing that my therapist has my best interests at heart, even if what I received is different from what I expected.
Find some time today to listen to God and those who have your best interests at heart. Is it possible that your road to healing may take some detours, veering off the path you had in mind?
Almighty God, sometimes I come to you telling you how my life should unfold. I pray for the humility to listen, trust, and obey, especially when your way is not mine. Amen.
Lamentations opens with a description of the plight of the people of Judah, the southern kingdom. The people have been taken into exile as part of God’s judgment for their idolatry. The psalmist struggles to sing the songs of the Lord. In fact, those who overthrew Jerusalem have forced them to sing for their amusement, so the joy is gone. The psalmist prays that one day God will repay the invaders. In Second Timothy, Paul praises God for Timothy’s faith and for the legacy of faith that comes through his family. He charges him to preach boldly and without hesitation the gospel of Christ. In the Gospel reading, Jesus challenges the disciples to show greater faith and to understand that we are all servants in God’s kingdom.
Read Lamentations 1:1-6. How do you allow your imperfections and failings to transform you?
Read Psalm 137. How do you remember your spiritual traditions and sacred places? How do you look for God’s work in change?
Read 2 Timothy 1:1-14. What spiritual practices help you to “guard the good treasure entrusted to you”?
Read Luke 17:5-10. How might a posture of cyclical servanthood to and with all creation transform or increase your faith?
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