Seeking Him and Him only…..
It sounds hard, but it really makes life quite simple if I can make myself forget “me” and focus on Him and those He places in my life.. He handles the rest. By praying for Him, rather than things from Him, and by praying for His children, and leaving myself totally out, I am lifted up. Praising Him for who He is, rather than merely what He has done for me allows me to enter a different plateau of worship.
What a pleasure just to talk to Him this morning about who He is and the joy that comes from not harping about my needs and worries—-what blessed riddance! Why don’t I do this every day? Why am I so prone to forget this and fall into the bad habit of telling God the very troubles of which He is already cognizant?
Saint Augustine once said that we should never pray about any of our needs, since God is quite aware of them already, but rather that our prayers should be prayers of interceding, or “intervening” for others. Whereas there’s nothing wrong praying for my own needs (Jesus clearly taught us that it was proper to ask for our daily bread, i.e. our needs), it is liberating, invigorating and seems to release spiritual “power” when my prayers are all about those that I pastor, direct, love, hold in friendship, etc.
What a blessed place to be when I am one that He uses to spread His love, His answers, His provision and I cease to be a dead-end recipient of His blessings. And of course the end of this thought is that each day I choose to live like this, He is my “all in all”; He gives me abundantly more than I could ever connive, swindle, or even honestly attain! So why not focus on Him and the others He places in my life and stop asking and asking for me?
There’s an old story of a man that had a dream of heaven and hell. When he arrived in the dream, he saw a table, beautifully adorned and elegantly set with the finest silverware, china, wine goblets, etc. In the center of the table was every imaginable delicacy an epicure could hope for—-incredible seafoods, meats, fruits, steamed vegetables, hot bread, butter, mouth watering pastries and desserts! It was a heavenly banquet! But all the guest, dressed in evening gowns and tuxedos, were emaciated and starving in their chairs. And then the man in the dream saw why—-they were all tied to their chairs and had long wooden slats fastened to their arms! They could see, smell and even touch the food, but because of the wooden slats on their arms they could not bend their elbows and bring the food to their mouths. These people were in hell. They could see, smell and touch the banquet meal, but they would never enjoy it.
Then the man heard laughter, the clinking of glasses and all the accompany sounds of a grand party. He walked next door and saw the same sort of table, the exact same types of foods, but also waiters busting back and forth with more and more platters of shrimp, escargot, filet mignon, creme brulee, sorbets, pastries, hot breads, and so on. But to his astonishment all these folks were also tied to the chairs and all of them also had slats tied to their arms. But these people, the folks in heaven, were simply reaching to their neighbor, on the left or right, and feeding one another the shrimp, the steak, the steamed potatoes, the hot bread. Yes! They were simply feeding each other and not allowing the slats on their arms to prohibit them from taking care of each other……and of course, they were incidentally taking care of themselves as well!
The folks in hell never thought about anyone but themselves; it never entered their mind to feed each other. The people in heaven were different and had learned to esteem the needs of the others as being more important than their own needs.