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math

While reading some devotional material earlier this week, I was pretty much captured by a single thought. It wasn’t necessarily a new idea to me, but it was posed in such a fashion that it really caught my attention. Here is that thought:

“God is not found in the soul by adding anything, but by a process of subtraction.” —Meister Eckhart

What a challenge for our culture, including religious life in America! Richard Rohr’s commentary to the point is even more thought-provoking:

In our consumer culture, religion and spirituality have very often become a matter of addition: earning points with God, attaining enlightenment, producing moral behavior. Yet authentic spirituality is not about getting, attaining, achieving, performing, or succeeding—all of which tend to pander to the ego. It is much more about letting go—letting go of what we don’t need anyway, although we don’t know that ahead of time. On the mental level, it is more “the shedding of thoughts,” as the Desert Fathers called it, than piling on more thoughts. –Richard Rohr, O. F. M.

I, too, have ridden downstream in these rapids. We run from one event to the next. The pile of unread books on my nightstand is testimony that I’m not keeping up, there is revelation I’m missing out on, and there is so much more to do in order to be in the flow with God. I honestly believe that most Christians are simply exhausted from chasing the proverbial carrot that is always just out of reach. The whole mantra of “I’ve got to do more for God” is a pressure that doesn’t come from Him. We do it to ourselves.  I think…

We’re addicted to working for God’s approval.

Jesus said something about His way being easy? Where? When do we allow it to be easy?

Peterson’s translation puts it this way:

“Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly” (Matthew 11:29-30, MSG).

Lightly and freely? We probably need to check our math. Addition and piling on activity doesn’t seem to be doing it for us.

The next time you feel under pressure or left out because you’re not going to make it to that “oh so necessary” religious gathering, or you’re going to miss pulling every single drop of revelation from some prima donna preacher or another prophetic diva, just do yourself a favor: whisper the word, “no.” Don’t scream it, but whisper. It’s for you only. You find God by what you subtract from your religious clutter. Some of what your soul needs requires you to let go of what the masses deem as urgent. It’s not. Let it go. That’s good math.

Live every day inside this magnificent truth: GOD LOVES US ALL!

Mike

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. Gary McGinnis
    August 30, 2016 at 7:02 am

    Perfect!

    • August 30, 2016 at 7:18 am

      It’s not rocket science. It’s really not.

  2. August 30, 2016 at 8:29 am

    Yeah, I’m finding that the less I try to “do” and “cram” down my religious (or even spiritual) pie-hole, and just pay attention to how the Divine is already threaded throughout the fabric of my present, the more aligned I fill. Ambitious religion and/or spirituality is kind of a farse. We need to just be.

  3. Your Wife
    August 30, 2016 at 11:13 am

    “Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly”!

    Love this!!!!! Xo

  4. wog
    August 30, 2016 at 1:01 pm

    Well said!

  5. September 1, 2016 at 1:24 pm

    Yesterday at Dr. office I ran into a gentleman who told me his wife had Alzheimer’s, This meeting was set up by God it wasn’t by chance. My goal in life is to comfort families who are in the quicksand of Alzheimer’s. I thanked God for this chance meeting. I had mentioned to this stranger that we hadn’t prepared for getting older then out of the blue he told me about his wife. He was a stranger no longer.

  6. Nicole
    September 5, 2016 at 8:03 am

    Good stuff, Ba

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