smouldering coalsAccountability is the friend of progress, and isolation the companion of decay. Therefore, I am returning to a commitment to report more faithfully on my progress or lack thereof.

I am struggling with exhaustion of all sorts: a dear friend and fellow in recovery recently died; I have been sick with an upper respiratory infection for about five weeks; my nursing school application was rejected; my father’s health is failing; my family is under what we will call disharmonious stress; my wife’s job has changed again; my real estate situation is precarious; my budget is dwindling; oh, and my nest is emptying again.

21 Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope:

22 Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.
23 They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
24 I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.”

25 The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him;
26 it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.

(Lamentations 3:21-26, NIV)

I have my faith, my daily provision, enough to get by, and my health is better than any other sick person’s I know. I am still mobile, capable, and active; just snotty and hung-over-feeling most of the time. The end of this month marks the end of my college semester. I have been doing well, and am hopeful I will maintain the 4.0 GPA that strains against the indifference of my youth to combine into a competitive average. I have a church fellowship with which I am comfortable calling “family” and I spend a lot of time with them. I have college study buddies who rely on me and on whom I rely to keep me sharp and connected. I have a home recovery group, the meetings of which remind me that I am acceptable even though I am broken, and that I have another family that eagerly embraces me and which needs me to contribute.

That reminds me of my great revelation for the week. I was whining to God about how little appreciation I felt I have been getting lately and how my precious bride was not giving me the attention lately I thought I deserved. Suddenly it occurred to me that I, who religiously remind myself that, as part of the Church universal, am part of the “bride of Christ” (Revelation 19:7-8) have also lately neglected my duty to love, honor, and adore my promised husband – Jesus Christ. I have been doing the “Martha” type business, but very little “Mary” type adoration (Luke 10:38-42). It is the Mary interactions I miss, and it is those that Jesus’ own testimony says He prefers.

I was reminded recently of the importance of meditation. Historically, meditation to me has always been more of a focused cogitation or a prayerful petition, but over the past five years I have learned a little about meditation and employed it in prayerful purpose to quiet self and listen for God. When I allow it to benefit me it does, so it is a shame I do not submit to the practice more often. Without deep, meaningful interchange any relationship becomes routine, hurried, and uninteresting. When my primary motivation in life (including recovery, eating, relationships, profession, etc.) is my relationship with God, I cannot afford to let it fall into apathy. I commit to making this a more regular practice with the hope of rekindling the relationship that fuels my every action.

Holy Father, today, I give everything I am to You. Though I am broken, boring, backwards, and sometimes even rebellious, I trust You to make me into something You can use for Your purposes. You, who are the motivation for my every breath, come alive in me. Make the glory of Your radiance shine so that people don’t even know who I am, but they see You in me. Give me opportunity, resource, and resolve to bear witness to Your world-conquering grace, so that someone I meet may lay hold of hope and choose to live life as You intended it – in everlasting togetherness with You.

10 Create in me a pure heart, O God,
    and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
11 Do not cast me from your presence
    or take your Holy Spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation
    and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.

(Psalm 51:10-12, NIV)