The Divine Mystery exists in each of us. We are Stewards of that Mystery.
I have spent the past week with other clergy who are some of the best at what they do in the Episcopal Church. This is a conference where the participants were chosen by their peers to help each other develop leadership skills. My colleagues came from all over the country. The offerings these clergy made to us, as a group, were astounding. I came away feeling as though the Episcopal Church is far better off than the press or local media portray. And, I recognized, as individuals we often feel inadequate.
I heard, during the week, of creativity, boldness, and suffering for the sake of the gospel. Many of the offerings made me teary-eyed. Rarely have I heard, inside or outside the church, this kind of devotion. I was humbled. Much of the astounding work which we know is taking place is happening behind the scenes. As always. Kingdom work is often invisible to the world.
When we seek the Lord, when we seek a deeper understanding of our faith, we begin a journey which will end someplace which we can’t see from here. The categories change. The goals change. The people whom we seek and with whom we resonate change. There are surprises. Even more, from time to time, we are stunned. From time to time, we are even shocked. We cannot believe that the force behind our thoughts or our intuition is God. We question ourselves.
Maybe our lack of certainty is precisely where we are supposed to be. Maybe we are supposed to pay attention to our feelings and fleeting thoughts more than we imagined. Maybe God works sideways, or in the margins, or in our peripheral vision more than we imagined. Maybe our mistake is thinking that God is facing us head on, like a matador, while we are forgetting that the matador is busy duping us into believing that something awaits us on the other side of the cloth when nothing actually does.
I, like you, often feel inadequate to the task before me. When I feel that way, I pray. I pray for strength and clarity. I pray for the Divine Presence. I pray that I will perform in a way that honors God. I pray for help. When I do, this is the voice I hear:
“The goal in seeking Me is not simply to find Me. It is to ask for My help as you look for Me.”
Questions of the day:
When I feel inadequate, do I ask God to help me? How do I let my desire to perform for God interfere with my Life in God?