Let nothing disturb you, Nothing frighten you;
All things are passing; God never changes;
Patient endurance Attains all things;
Whoever possesses God Lacks nothing;
God alone suffices. ~ Teresa of Avila
Hasn’t the weather been wonderful today? Yesterday, too. Most of the snow has melted except for the huge piles left from clearing roads, etc. I was beginning to think I would never see the ground covered in any color but white, again, but there is hope for spring. Before long, buds will begin to swell on trees and early blossoms will begin to appear, and Dave and I will be living somewhere else. Happy Lent by the way.
How is the move going? You might ask. We are still waiting on a price for the house. The appraisal is in the works. We are in the countdown, now, so we are looking at whatever else is out there. We were going to look at two that we had driven past, but when we called the realtor, both, in addition to one other, are under contract. Last word to me from God on the subject was “Pack.” Seriously? I feel like Abraham. “Now the Lord said to Abram, ‘Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you…’ So Abram went, as the Lord had told him.” (Genesis 12:1, 4). In other words, God said, “Abram, ‘Pack’ your bags and hit the road. I’ll tell you, where and when to unpack.” So, I’m sorting things, getting rid of some, and awaiting word from the movers, the house seller and looking for other possibilities. Is this moving project really a God thing? You’re probably asking that question by now as well.
Teresa of Avila is my “go to” girl for the last few days. I’m reminded of a story….aren’t I always? Teresa was born in 16th century Spain. As a child she always wanted to do something great for God so she, eventually, became a Carmelite nun after the death of her father who was against the whole idea. She has many interesting life stories, but I love the one that has been told over and again. While Teresa’s spirituality was a deeply reverential one, she had a wonderful sense of humor. This humor shows a kind of playfulness in her relationship with God. Once, when she was travelling to one of her convents, Teresa was knocked off her donkey and fell into the mud, injuring her leg. “Lord,” she said, “you couldn’t have picked a worse time for this to happen. Why would you let this happen?” The response, she heard was, “That is how I treat my friends.” Teresa answered, “And that is why you have so few of them!” What a relationship. I can relate to this story at the moment while I’m trying to keep my humor intact.
Once, Teresa said, “O God, I don’t love you. I don’t want to love you. But I want to want to love you.” One wonders what was happening during this time. Then, maybe she was woefully aware of her own shortcomings and lack of love. Perhaps, this is a prayer of longing and a request for help. Amen.
I taught a class on discernment last year using the book DESIRING GOD’S WILL, by David Benner to spark our discussion. He made the distinction between Willingness and Willfulness. Do I want my will or God’s will? I might say, “God I don’t do your will. I don’t want to do your will. But, I do so want to want to do your will.” Willingness, not my own willfulness. I want to do God’s thing in this because when I do my own, I usually end up wishing I hadn’t. Well, I have been told to pack, so I better get to it, patiently.
“May today there be peace within.
May you trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be.
May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith.
May you use those gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you.
May you be content knowing that you are a child of God.
Let this presence settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love. It is there for each and everyone of you.” ― Teresa of Avila