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Do not restrain your lips

by davesandel on January 17th, 2021

Second Sunday in Ordinary Time, January 17, 2021                       (today’s lectionary)

Do not restrain your lips

Samuel was sleeping in the temple of the Lord, and the Lord called. After God’s fourth call, Samuel spoke up, “Speak, Lord for your servant is listening. After this the Lord did not permit any word of Samuel’s to be without effect.

A friend said he likes to write, but only in poetic bursts. And indeed, his bursts of words when we talk sometimes overwhelm me. We talked about ways to survive and even thrive in between epiphanies, in between the poetic bursts that, really come upon you rather than from you. Bursts of spirit and soul from the Source of spirit and soul, that’s what they really are.

So … yesterday as I spent hours sorting and cleaning, packing and projecting what would fit in the car, I left my spirit behind. And then I was exhausted – in between epiphanies for sure. But I remembered just in time that I do have a way of life, a “rule” of life, a simple set of words that fit on a post-it note: Read, Write, Listen, Pray, Every Day.

I wait, I wait for the Lord, and stoops toward me and hears my cry. The Lord has put a new song in my mouth, a hymn to him. Behold, O Lord, I come.

I didn’t have time, but I stopped to write. My friend Leon called me in the middle and we talked a few minutes. I listened. I’m reading a biography of Galileo and found a few minutes to read a chapter. Lord, teach me to pray. Every day.

Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? And whoever is joined to the Lord becomes on Spirit with him. So glorify God in your body.

Single syllable words are the best for me. Read. I keep a list of the books and magazines every month and share the list of books with my librarian buddy in Nebraska. She shares her with me, but she annotates her list. I love reading about those books.

Write. Well, this devotion blog speaks for itself, I guess. I planned to stop writing after Easter last year, but I didn’t. And it’s been a great year to write, right? Covid wanderings, quarantined clusters of words that matter more than ever – to me for sure, I hope for you sometimes as well.

Listen. During my four days in Urbana I had fifteen meetings with clients and five with friends and family. Why not stop talking once in a while and listen? Just keep my mouth shut, I tell myself. And then I tell myself again.

Andrew found his brother Simon and said, “We have found the Messiah!” Then he brought Simon to Jesus, and Jesus told Simon, “You will be called Cephas, which means Peter.

Pray. When Margaret told me Miles and Jasper discovered my prayer beads and icons, I laughed. That laughter was a prayer for me. When I got home Tuesday after driving 1000 miles and the electricity in our house was crazy – on but not on, some lights dim, others brighter than bright – I felt anxious and I prayed for God’s help. When everything was fixed in a couple of hours, I felt grateful and I prayed that way. Every day there is something. Pray. When there’s nothing, that’s the best time of all to pray. Be still. And know. That God is God.

O God you are my delight. And I will not restrain my lips.

(1 Samuel 3, Psalm 40, 1 Corinthians 6, John 1)


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One Comment
  1. Mary Lou Menches permalink

    Your insights today reminded me of an introduction to centering prayer someone revealed to me some years ago, which I sometimes still use:

    Be still and know that I am God.
    Be still and know that I am.
    Be still and know.
    Be still.

    Still an amazingly helpful reminder…

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