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

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

A Word to Live and Die by ~ Eucharisteo

It's who you are and the way you live that count before God. Your worship must engage your spirit in the pursuit of truth. That's the kind of people the Father is out looking for: those who are simply and honestly 'themselves' before him in worship. God is sheer being itself = Spirit. Those who worship him must do it out of their very being, their spirits, their true selves, in adoration. ~ John 4:23-24 MSG

Wow....what a way to begin my morning devotions! This word from John and then Michael's song, Above All.

Chapter 2 of Ann's book is entitled "a word to live...and die by".  She uses a quote by Alexander Schmenmann to begin:
Eucharist [thanksgiving] is the state of the perfect man. Eucharist is the life of paradise. Eucharist is the only full and real respons of man to God's creation, redemption, and gift of heaven.
Yet, another "wow" as I begin this day.

There is A LOT to sit with, to reflect upon, to ponder...within this quote of Schmenmann.
"I slam upright, jolt the bed hard, hands gripping the cotton sheets wild....they were just nightmares ..a silver thread unraveling through the black. And for me, she who says she never has dreams." (Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts, p 24-25)
Yesterday I shared briefly how pain is and has been a steady companion. Desperate for sleep, I took two Advil PMs last night.  I slept and had strange dreams that were unsettling.  I could only shake my head as I began reading Chapter 2 this morning.

Ann does a great job using the time of waking from bad dreams as a metaphor/allegory [??? my HS English teacher must be shaking her head at my confusion] of such to describe life in general.
"For years of mornings I have woken wanting to die. Life itself twists into nightmare. For years, I have pulled the covers up over my head, dreading to begin another day I'd be bound to just wreck. Years, I lie listening to the taunt of names ringin off my interior walls, ones from the past that never drifted far and away: Loser. Mess. Failure. They are signs nailed overhead, nailed through me, naming me. The stars are blinking out." (Voskamp, p 26)
Again....these words so resonate with my own heart.  This morning Sarah Young, in her devotion book, Jesus Calling, also spoke to these doubts...these "nightmares" I do my best to hide from myself and from others.
Beware of seeing yourself through others people's eyes. There are several dangers to this practice. First of all, it is nearly impossible to discern what others actually think of you. Moreover, their views of you are variable: subject to each viewer's  spiritual, emotional, and physical condition. The major problem with letting others define you is that it borders on idolatry. Your concern to please others dampens your desire to please Me. your Creator....
 This morning I awoke from a night of restless dreams, to thoughts from scripture and from Ann's book that seemed to offer a salve of sorts to the edginess I felt beginning this new day.

I have already emptied the dishwasher, folded laundry from last night...mindless tasks as I have watched the eastern sky turn from black to a subtle orange.  A new day has begun and I live within the question.

Knowing these mornings of orange skies and dew on my feet as I change the feeders for the birds...I ask what is most important.  Ann concluded Chapter One with the challenge to see and testify..a dare to an emptier, fuller life."

In other do I live the fullest life possible NOW that delivers into the full life after?



I stood watching the sun this morning, glancing here and there at the muted colors of mums with leaves from my wonderful trees scattered all around.  I felt the coolness of the dew and the freshness of the morning air...I think Ann may have hit a nerve with me suggesting from our beginnings [my beginnings] we keep reliving the Garden story of not having enough.

On page 29 Ann asks:
"...Will I have lived fully - or just empty?"
Holidays are coming up and I watch my Grands wait with anticipation... Maybe they are a visible lesson for me to hold. Sometimes it is difficult, this waiting...this living between birth and eternity.

Walking through the front door of the church there is a large framed poster entitled "The Dash".  It is a popular speaks to this living within the middle...the dash.

When I walk through the doors of the church today, I think I will pause long enough to actually read this familiar truth again....and to be grateful for the woman who framed and hung this be grateful for the reminder of being in Eucharisteo in this moment...within the dash of today.

Many Blessings ~ Sandi

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for the doesn't matter what people think of's what God thinks of daughter reminds me of that often...but we so often forget!