Monday, May 13, 2013

When Quitting is Required

A few weeks ago, I happened to wake up one morning before anyone else. This rarely happens. I took those sacred 15 minutes or so to snuggle up on the couch, watch the sunshine, and meditate on some Psalms. It was beautiful and has prompted me to be more diligent about carving out some time for quiet prayer in my day. The more time I spend simply being with God, the more I hear him tell me, "That is all I ask."

The first time was through a prayer in The Abbey Prayer Book, titled Prayer of Self-Dedication to Jesus. It went deeper than I anticipated. I had to pray it many times before I could pray it sincerely. It will be an ongoing challenge. In this prayer, I not only vow to rely on solely on Christ, but ask him to "take all my freedom, my memory, my understanding, and my will." That kind of surrender is scary. How can I survive without my identity and ability to make my own choices? Wouldn't God be better able to use me if I am healthy and whole? Well, probably. But God's ways are above my ways. The best I can offer is all of myself, to use as He desires. All that I am and offer comes from and belongs to God. My gift is my willingness to quit, to give up everything.

Peter during my prayer time. Yes, he's really asleep.

The call came again in the writings of St. Jeanne de Chantal, which I read today while the kids were napping.
Hold your eyes on God and leave the doing to him. That is all the doing you have to worry about, and the only activity which God asks of you and towards which it is he alone who is drawing you. ... without a wish to see, or feel, or carry out any work, but merely content to remain in his presence - relaxed, at peace, confident, patient, never inspecting self to see how things are going. nor what one is doing, feeling, or enduring. ...One thing alone is necessary: It is to have God. In short, then, no matter what is going on, we must hold both our attention and our love on God, not wasting our time in studying what is happening to ourselves, nor what is its cause. Our Lord asks this of us.
This is so hard for me. I have a hard time not peeking at rice while it's cooking! And the irony is not lost on me that by writing about this, I'm doing exactly what she said not to do...  It's a good thing God is patient with me.


  1. "That is all I ask." Thank you for reminding me. I've forgotten.

    1. You're welcome. We all need that nudge sometimes.