"As kingfishers catch fire, dragonflies draw flame; / [ . . . ] Each mortal thing does one thing and the same: / Deals out that being indoors each one dwells; / Selves -- goes itself; 'myself' it speaks and spells, / Crying 'What I do is me; for that I came'." --Gerard Manley Hopkins

21 November 2005

Getting Out of the Way

Chambers has been preaching on relationship to Christ lately, and I have been convicted and confused and wondering and elated and grateful . . . I know so little about this journey, and I fear so often that I am arrogant in my talking and thinking about it while sitting by the roadside going nowhere . . . The easy thing is to have something to do and do it. The hard thing is to just do it without angst or arrogance, without looking at the doing and praising or berating ourselves for how we fare, with our eyes on Jesus instead of self.

A number of quotes from Chambers from the last few days:

We have to battle through our moods into absolute devotion to the Lord Jesus, to get out of the hole-and-corner business of our experience into abandoned devotion to Him.

Beware of making a fetish of consistency to your convictions instead of being devoted to God. The one consistency of a saint is not to a principle, but to the Divine life.

He talks about interfering in the lives of others, trying to stop God's will in their walk by getting in the way with all our supposed wisdom, with our felt need to make things right. Then he says that if we are to advise someone else,

God will advise through you with the direct understanding of the Holy Spirit; your part is to be so rightly related to God that His discernment comes through you all the time for the blessing of another soul.

The mature stage is the life of a child which is never conscious; we become so abandoned to God that the consciousness of being used never enters in. . . . all consciousness of ourselves and of what God is doing through us is eliminated. A saint is never consciously a saint; a saint is consciously dependent on God.

We are to live for Him in the daily life where no one notices, and that is our truest witness:

The aim is to manifest the glory of God in human life, to live the life hid with Christ in God in human conditions. . . . We are so abominably serious, so desperately interested in our own characters, that we refuse to behave like Christians in the shallow concerns of life.

To know Him. That is the goal of the quest, a goal which can be attained right now in the journey and yet which will never be attained in this life.

I do not presume to pretend that I have ever lost myself in devotion to Him; I know myself too well. But there have been occasions when He has shown me how He moves without my awareness, my reaching to be a faithful witness, my anxious working to show Him and everyone else that I'm really spiritual despite appearances. Now and again, someone has come to me and remarked on some way in which my words or actions have encouraged him, and I have been astounded. It was no work of mine, no thought-provoked attempt. But because He is in me, He graciously moved through me to touch someone's life. And He gets all the glory.

I think these have been tiny pictures of what life could be like if I learned to love Him and simply immerse my life in Him. Why is something so simple so difficult to do? Lord, that I could just forget all else and see You, only You.


Fieldfleur said...

Awesome Chamber quotes. I'm so glad that you care enough to pursue understanding, even when the pursuit feels disjointed and meager. God's been showing me lately that he travels around corners to locate me, even when I bury myself in distraction from him. Grace floweth, thankfully.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!


alaiyo said...

Yes, He isn't easily left out of the lives of His saints, is He?!

A wonderful Thanksgiving to you and yours, also.