“Once the soul awakens ... you are inflamed with a special longing that will never again let you linger in the lowlands of complacency and partial fulfillment. The eternal makes you urgent.” ~ John O’Donohue, Anam Cara
Motivational forces in life can come as positive or negative. Too often guilt is used, like the sharp and annoying spur designed for horses, in an attempt to move us towards doing the right thing. We can guilt people into behaviour modification, but it does not change us at the heart level, which is where the most effective spurring happens. Spending time in God’s word and in the beauty of nature inspire my appreciation of his goodness and motivate me to share this hope with those in need of some.
Take time to delve into the riches of My residing Presence. I want you to live increasingly from your real Center, where My Love has an eternal grip on you. From Jesus Calling, Sarah Young. (Feb 20th)
How do I spur people on? By conversation and prayer. And I wish I could say I was more consistent. Often when I am in discussion with someone on an urgent matter, I suggest we pray about it. The spirit nudges me and brings to mind people to pray for: those with grief, with cancer, with marriage issues, with difficult children, those in my daughter’s Muslim neighborhood. There is a sense of critical urgency in most of the requests. It is all too easy to get busy with life activities and decrease time spent in prayer. And then I feel guilty, but what I love about God is his open invitation to spend time with him, as a friend. He invites.
What do I want to spur people on to? My husband and I just returned from a medical mission project in Guatemala. He worked on the surgical team, I helped in the hearing clinic. One young man in his late twenties had wanted to come for years, but was always working at the time. This year, he managed to get the time off to come. We tested his hearing level to discover that he had a severe hearing loss. After further testing and fittings, the audiologist provided a special higher end hearing aid for him with just a tiny wire going into his ear. (See if you can spot the wire) When the world of clear sound came to him, his grin reached from ear to hearing aid ear. I felt privileged to help give the gift of hearing to him and many others. These aids-many of them refurbished from Canada-were given at no cost to people who could not afford them. We also provided a year’s supply of batteries. My desire is to help people hear the word of God and experience the hope that God offers free of charge in their lives.
Who spurs me on? I have a dear sister and a sister friend. Twice a year we have our own mini-retreats, where we discuss needs, concerns and pray over what God is doing in our lives. These times of rich deep fellowship, spur me on to live my life in a better more loving and surrendering way. Sometimes the spur is a little sharp, and the nudging does not feel pleasant.
I have also learned much from my daughter in ministry. Many women come to her home to pour their hearts out to her because she provides a safe place to do that. Her kindness and compassion move me to imitate her selflessness. She also sends many urgent prayer requests my way.
The sense of urgency comes because it feels as though time is speeding up. Does anyone else feel this way? When my mother was in her late eighties, I asked her if she felt that time was passing more quickly and she answered yes. This surprised me because in my view she had little to occupy her time. I think she was already focused on things unseen. Yesterday marked her one-year passing. I miss her amazing positivity. She has spurred an optimistic streak in my life.
And then the rubber hits the road:) I’d done some work on this post before we left for Guatemala, knowing we returned at midnight the day before my post was due. I thought perhaps there would be some time for writing while away-who was I fooling? Mainly myself. What I hadn’t counted on was a four-hour delay in our return. It’s cold and snowy on our drive home and all the lofty spiritual thoughts that had swirled in my head under the palm trees seemed to have lost their lift. The sense of urgency takes on a more basic meaning :) And a remembered line drifts through my brain: Never doubt in the dark what God has revealed in the day.
All praise to the God and Father of our Master, Jesus the Messiah! Father of all mercy! God of all healing counsel! He comes alongside us when we go through hard times, and before you know it, he brings us alongside someone else who is going through hard times so that we can be there for that person just as God was there for us. 2 Corinthians 1:3,4 The Message
I'm drawn to the last line of your post: Never doubt in the dark what God has revealed in the day. A line I shall never forget hearing from the lips of a long ago pastor going through his own tough times. It strengthened me back then, and your reminder cheers me on today. Thank you, Jocelyn, for a lovely post.ReplyDelete
And I have days I can doubt in the day what has been revealed! I'm grateful to God for his understanding of how feeble we can be at times.ReplyDelete
You've given us a lot to think about, Jocelyn. Thank you. From your beginning quote that talks about the awakening of the soul "that will never again let you linger in the lowlands of complacency and partial fulfillment" to examples of what and who spurs you on to greater and more merciful behaviours, I read with understanding. God does come alongside us when we go through tough times and then he puts us in a position to come alongside someone who is also going through hard times. Keep up the good work in your life and in your writing, Jocelyn. Blessings.ReplyDelete
Thank-you Sharon, that line about not lingering in the lowlands of complacency and partial fulfillment, really spoke to me. God is in the business of spurring us on!ReplyDelete