Midweek Meditations

— thoughts, inspirations and encouragements
from ACF community members —

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.

Do not be like the horse or the mule, which have no understanding
but must be controlled by bit and bridle
or they will not come to you.

Many are the woes of the wicked,
but the Lord’s unfailing love
surrounds the one who trusts in him.

Rejoice in the Lord and be glad, you righteous;
sing, all you who are upright in heart!

Psalm 32, 8-11

Unfortunately I don‘t shine in knowledge of Hebrew and couldn’t dive into 15 books before writing these lines but the psalmist spoke to me and his poem gave me some ideas I would like to share with you:

I sometimes struggle with praying. My inner voices tend to be a lot louder than God’s “gentle breeze” and here I am, wanting to pray and in reality am planning today’s dinner while looking at the bible… But what often helps me to focus is thinking in images. Not necessarily praying with words but to intensely envisage the prayer: You are a place for me to hide in, I am sitting on God’s lap, his arms are laid protectively around me. If it not too strange for you try to imagine this picture, too. What details would enrich it with felt closeness, comfort and peace.

And then after a time of rest and calmness he kindly puts me on my feet again: Go, I have given you a job to do. I will instruct you and teach you in the way that you should go; I will guide you with my eye. Be not like horse and mule which have no understanding; whose mouths must be held with bit andbridle, or else they will not stay near you. What great image of encouragement and leading styles! I am not on my own, nor does everything have to come from me. God provides instructions and guidance”with his eye”. Nothing will force me but I will find the way as long as I keep eye contact. In opposition to oppressed beings I have been given understanding. To be honest, sometimes I wish that I could understand things better, but on the other hand God has provided a collection of books and letters that showthe main direction clearly: He is life and liberates us from everything that’s not. So I trust that I can reach at least a certain level of understanding if I read these scriptures, “inwardly digest” them myself and have an open and critical look at them in communion with (sometimes a lot more learned) brothers and sisters. This understanding and keeping eye contact in prayer gives God the chance to lead me, so I hope.

And in the end joy remains: Be glad, you righteous, and rejoice in the Lord; shout for joy, all who are true of heart. Sometimes I get a glance at the kingdom of God or -as one of my favourite teachers sometimes said -I catch a whiff out of God’s kitchen and my heart leaps for joy and gratefulness. May this joy come to us all.

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