...self care is never a selfish act- it is simply good stewardship of the only gift I have, the gift I was put on earth to offer to others. Anytime we can listen to true self and give it the care it requires, we do so not only for ourselves but for the many others whose lives we touch.

Parker J. Palmer, Let Your Life Speak

Friday, April 1, 2016

Because you are loved (4)

God is not our co-dependent
We turned our lives over to the care of God as we understand God. Step #3 abridged

We sense that we can never entirely imitate his godly love. But we can break free from some of the boundaries that hold us captive. We can come closer to the light. Emilie Griffin, Small Surrenders
 
The thought of cheering-up God like a parent would cajole a moody child reflects an early stage of faith development. It's also a way we have of crafting God in our own image, of making the Lord of all the powers of the universe a little more manageable by projecting stuff that really belongs to us, not God.

In my journey, Step #3, which is similarly worded in most 12 Step programs, is a daily invitation to surrender to God and to let go of controlling others- and God.

Instead of what we often hear about pleasing God or God somehow needing us, the truth is that God doesn't need us to feel sorry for God or calm God down. Giver of Life doesn't need us to make the Holy One happier than God already is. "God is, in simple terms, sublimely and eternally happy to be God," wrote Rowan Williams.

Manipulative, guilt-based religion is when we hear, in essence, "If your heart is truly 'right,' you will want to please God, and we will show you the way to please the Holy One." Do we really think God loves us more because we prayed a little longer today, or God is more pleased with us because we managed to show a little kindness? Or that God will treat us better if we behave ourselves? Jesus described the difference between us and the One God: "only God is good."

Sure, I can learn to live out of God's love more completely, but there's nothing on earth I can do make God love me more than God already does. Accepting the gift of what already is would be coming closer to the light.



 

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Having been in ordained ministry in the UMC for 34 years, I've experienced the truth that although, clergy are frequently present for others, no one can offer what they don't have.That's why if you're a clergy person, you need someone who will listen to you. Not the random next closest person available, but rather someone like a spiritual director, a therapist, a peer who can be fully present to you. I hope the links and posts you find here will give you ideas, humor, hope and encouragement. Scott Endress

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If you want a formula for making the best of the less-than-perfect and making the most of what you have been given, then begin to compare your lot to what you were before you were born, and it will empower you with wonder every time. John Claypool

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