Thursday, October 12, 2006

Should We Let Go?

A Sister Reader has written expressing her difficulty in wrestling with God. She feels as if she doesn't deserve to demand a blessing, but she needs one.

Is there anything we can do to deserve a blessing?

Our sister reader is expressing honestly how many of us feel. We have grown up in churches that prescribe formulas for spirituality. "Have a morning quiet time that consists of 20 minutes of Bible reading and 30 minutes of prayer. Be sure to include adoration and confession. Make time for God and God will make time for you."

What if the "quiet time" that is better suited for me involves dancing in my kitchen to U2? What if on Tuesdays and Thursdays a 20 minute morning walk is where I meet God? And on Fridays, I visit BBC on-line to pray over the state of the world. Why not? God doesn't match a formula and why should we? So often we berate ourselves because we can't measure up to someone else's standards for us.

Today, may we dare to be like Jacob and say to God, "I'm not letting you go 'til you bless me."


Anonymous Mandy MC said...

One of my friends here at Duke has developed what she calls a "hermeneutic of struggle/wrestling" for reading scripture. She derives her "method" from Genesis 32, which we've been thinking about this week. This hermeneutic encourages her to continue reading scripture even though it is a patriarchal text. It allows her to read scripture as a feminist. She presented it to us in class last week and I found it extremely encouraging.

Here are her five components of a hermeneutic of struggle:
1. It assumes that the text that affronts and confronts is able to bless against all odds.
2. It refuses to let go of a text until he or she is blessed.
3. It takes a certain amount of guts and engaging in the daily practices to believe that you are worthy of wrestling.
4. You will go away limping (your heart will be broken).
5. You must come knowing you will leave having your name changed (name states something about your identity).

7:50 AM  
Anonymous lori said...

Like our anoymous sister blogger, I must say I have often identified with her delimma.

We are all unique. We are all on a journey to know God and to serve God. We know and understand that we are all different as human beings. We have different personalities, goals, desires, etc. Why would we not accpet the fact that we each relate to our Creator in unique ways?

I like the phrase spiritual equation, because that seems to describe the way I have been taught. Then we find that our spiritual numbers somehow don't equate the way we thought. We are caught in this trap.

Let's throw off all that hinders and seek those things that are wholesome for us individually. Dance in the kitchen to U2! Walk miles around the park in silence. Hold a crying newborn. Write down in a journal those things which you wish to tell God.

May we all seek to find God as we struggle alongside one another. Because, after all...isn't this the beauty of it?!

8:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In my formula, the time spent in a morning quiet time has little to do with anything beneficial, but it's the quality of the time. I find it good to read until I find a blessing or a thought I need to ponder(sometimes one verse and sometimes much more.) Then I try to review it in my mind over and over that day and try to internalize it. "Pray without ceasing" is always a winner.

9:45 PM  

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