(In The Life Of The Church)
Reverence (by Taylor)
I’ve been in several conversations lately where I’ve found phrases that I think would be appropriate subtitles for my book. (I’m not writing a book. I just like to imagine what the title would be if I were to write a book.) “You’ve Gotta Risk It to Get the Biscuit” has been a longtime favorite, but I have also recently become a fan of “Grabbing the Cardigan Closest to Me” and “Pretending to Behave Like a Normal Adult Human.” These are fitting subtitles because in this imagined “I’m-writing-a-book” scenario the book I’m writing is an autobiography – and all of these phrases are pretty descriptive of my life.
I would say that for most of my life when it comes to the day-to-day realities of life I am a go-with-the flow type person. I have always found it important to be able to be flexible in any given situation and so flexibility is a skill that I have worked hard at developing. However, in my head – in my own mental and emotional space – I am an over-planner and a teensy bit of a perfectionist. I remember as a child and teenager struggling with the idea of “giving my life to God”. I think that phrase can carry many different meanings for different people – but for me the hang up was with the idea that I would no longer be in control of every part of my life. That in giving my life to God I was saying, “Here – I trust You and Your plan so much that I’m giving my entire life to You.” That seemed like a deal-breaker to me. Honestly, some days it still feels like a deal-breaker. Some days it doesn’t, but then I notice myself striving to be in control of every situation. And some days – on my best days – I notice that the idea of trusting God with all aspects of my life is like a gift - a gift I never expected or knew I would appreciate, but a gift nonetheless.
This week’s Lectionary Text from the Psalms is Psalm 90:1-6,13-17. It says this:
1 Lord, you have been our dwelling place
throughout all generations.
2 Before the mountains were born
or you brought forth the whole world,
from everlasting to everlasting you are God.
3 You turn people back to dust,
saying, “Return to dust, you mortals.”
4 A thousand years in your sight
are like a day that has just gone by,
or like a watch in the night.
5 Yet you sweep people away in the sleep of death—
they are like the new grass of the morning:
6 In the morning it springs up new,
but by evening it is dry and withered.
13 Relent, Lord! How long will it be?
Have compassion on your servants.
14 Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love,
that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.
15 Make us glad for as many days as you have afflicted us,
for as many years as we have seen trouble.
16 May your deeds be shown to your servants,
your splendor to their children.
17 May the favor of the Lord our God rest on us;
establish the work of our hands for us—
yes, establish the work of our hands.
In her book An Altar in the World Barbara Brown Taylor (aka my girl BBT) writes about reverence. She says, “I learned reverence from my father. For him, it had nothing to do with religion and very little to do with God. I think it may have had something to do with his having been a soldier, since the exercise of reverence generally includes knowing your rank in the overall scheme of things.” The exercise of reverence includes knowing your rank in the overall scheme of things. This thought was revelatory to me.
I think that praying Psalm 90 helps me develop a proper sense of reverence. When I start by praying about who God is and what God has done – especially in contrast to my own human limitations – it makes it easier to pray in earnest that God will establish the work of my hands for me by the time I get to the end of the Psalm. It makes it easier to trust that participating in the work of God is always going to be better than setting my own course. It makes it possible for me to trust that giving my life to God is, in fact, a comfort.
So – it’s slow work. Work that I will be doing for my whole life. But it’s good work. Important work. Maybe by the time I get around to writing my book the subtitle will be something like “Way More Reverent Than All Y’all” or “Sometimes Capable of Not Needing to Control Every Situation” but until then I think I’ll stick with “Pretending to Behave Like a Normal Adult Human.”
As always, if you have any questions or concerns about this, feel free to email email@example.com.
We here at the ITLOTC would like to issue an apology. You may have noticed that last week the ITLOTC weekly publication was distributed. This was in part due to the fact, one brother Toph Whisnant and one brother Josh Carney were tied up on the golf course competing, fiercely mind you, in the annual Kyle Lake golf tournament. We find our error grievous and promise that it won't happen again, at least for a while.
McLennan County Orphan Care #3
We will be hosting our third and final orphan care dinner Wednesday October 15. This time we will be visiting with the folks from CASA about what it means to fight for foster care children in a way other than opening up your home. CASA is something anyone can do including a college student. So please come, eat some dinner and fellowship. Our potluck dinner will start at 6 and discussion at 6:30. Childcare will be provided.
Work is Worship
Coffee Makers: Kaylin & Maddie
Mug Cleaners: OOTP
Money Counter: JD Newman
- Sunday Sermon:
- Finance Team Meeting 11-9
- McLennan County Orphan Care 3: CASA, 11-15
- Thanksgiving Love Feast 11-19
- Youth Sunday 11-19
- Christ the King Sunday 11-26
- Backside 12-1
- Advent Workshop 12-3
- Study Hall 12-5/6
- finance team meeting
- Christmas Eve Service 12-24
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