Gratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encounter everyday epiphanies, those transparent moments of awe that change forever how we experience life and the world. ~ Sara Ban Breathnach

Friday, March 11, 2011

Day 3 - The Vessel of Loving Energy

Lord, my spirit is troubled as I watch and listen to reports from Japan, Hawaii, and the West Coast of the U.S. Lord, I ask for your Presence to be among those who are injured or may be dying as I write. I ask for your Spirit of power and wisdom to fill the hearts and minds of our world's leaders as they decide how to respond.  Lord, I ask for the love of Christ to be within the hearts and the hands of those working to rescue all the victims from this morning, and the victims that are yet to be from this massive quake. Amen.

"The same streams of life that run through my veins, night and day, runs through the world and dances in rhythmic measures." ~ Rabindranath Tagore

What resonated with you as you read Joyce's confession that, in the past, she has been "intent on doing well" whenever she has begun programs of spiritual growth?
"I would work very hard at it, often feeling concerned or anxious becasue I wanted to do it 'right' and make a lot of progress. I felt like it all depended upon me as to wherther or not I would grow. I did not yet realize that I needed the vibrant stream of divine life moving through me in order to be transformed." (J.Rupp, Cup of Life, p 30)
I was reminded of new insights from reading "Recovery, The Twelve Steps as Spiritual Practice" by Rami Shapiro.  In this book the reader begins with Step 1 "The Gift of Powerlessness".  In our scripture we are told, "lest any should boast..."

Friends, we are powerless to become spiritual fit. The only thing we actually can control is our response to God's calling.

How do we do that?

By simply becoming available to be filled by the Holy Spirit.  As Joyce says,
"...I cannot force growth to happen. This is God's realm of doing. I can yearn for transformation. I can be faithful to daily meditation. But as long as I am trying to go it alone, I will simply stumble along fruitlessly." (Ibid)
Today, Joyce asks that we remember that it is God who gives us the power to act and the power to change. This transformation is not a result of how the strength of "our" will.  She reminds us that we can stop worrying about whether or not we are making progress.

Breathprayer: Breathing in: Your power...
                        Breathing out:...moving through me.
But we have this treasure in clay jars, so that it may be made clear that this extraordinary power belongs to God and does not come from us. (2 Cor. 4:7)

How have I known God's power working in me and through me?
What are some obstacles blocking the flow of loving energy?
What part of my life most needs the powerful touch of God? 

Most recently I knew God's power working in and through me as I sat with my uncle during the last four weeks of his earthly life. I can was Super Bowl night...I was using all my strength to control him, to keep him in bed.  Frantically, holding my uncle down with one hand, I called a friend with the other.  Lee asked me what I wanted for my uncle and I replied, "Peace."  "Well, my friend," he said, "you can't give him something you don't have."

He was right.  I was an emotional wreck. I asked an aide to stay with him, for just five minutes and during that time I went and stood at the window from the 2nd floor lobby.  I noticed the lights from the parking lot bouncing off the ice and snow.  I gazed into the black sky. I took some deep breaths and envisioned God's Spirit coursing through my body.

I returned to my uncle's side.  It was a long night of battling with him, but I was at peace.  "I" was not able to manage my uncle that night.

Amy Alexander - It will be okay
Still, even having those kind of experiences, I manage to create obstacles.  I take on to much work.  I try to keep EVERYONE happy. I worry about my future.  I worry about my daughters and their over busy lives and decisions they are needing to make. In the past, I would have been standing, helpless in front of the TV with disasters such as today's earthquake and tsunami.

How about you, how have you known God's power working in or through you? Do any of you struggle with the reality of our powerlessness?

What kind of obstacles do you erect that prevent the natural flow of God Light Energy through your self?

I'm still reflecting on the third question.  But, that does  not mean any of you cannot respond. What would you identify as a part of your life that most needs the powerful touch of God?

Joyce closes Day 3 with this prayer:
"Energizing and transforming God, the pulse of your presence fills my life with love. Remind me often that I cannot grow by my own efforts alone. Thank you for the comfort and the freedom of knowing that it is your power working through me that creates growth in my spiritual life. Amen. (Ibid) you use ANY vessel, a cup, a glass, a measuring cup, a measuring spoon, a can of soda, or a bottle of water...As you use any vessel today, may that vessel remind you that you and I are a vessel of God's tremendous loving energy.

Many Blessings ~ Sandi


  1. Thank you, Sandi. Your final paragraph will stay with me all day.

  2. "...I am simply an empty cup until I am filled with the loving energy of God. - p. 30
    I like how Joyce Rupp speaks about how it is not the results but how we are progressing. I do not have to be a super mom, teacher, wife, daughter, etc. I have just have to be seeking God in all of these roles. "But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us" - 2 Corinthians 4:7 It is all about God, not about me and what I do on my own accord. God is in control (praise be), and I need to yield to Him. It always works better this way. Why I don't do it sooner rather than later is nuts!