Monday, September 04, 2006

Thorns and weeds

I've noticed during the past several years how much the worries of this world and the deceitfulness of wealth have had the power to choke out spiritual growth. When I was younger and had fewer concerns, fewer wordly responsibilities, fewer financial issues, I felt much more like good soil upon which the Word of God could grow into a bountiful crop. Now it's a struggle.

What I'd like to hear about is ideas on how to beat back the incursions into my life of these unwanted crops.


Ρωμανος ~ Romanós said...

I was holding out, hoping someone with more wisdom would venture to comment on this post, but no one has commented yet, so please forgive this simple man for his possibly foolish words.

For me, the answer is easy… the worries of this world and the deceitfulness of wealth have no power over you at all if you single-heartedly accept and practice what the Lord said, "Seek first the Kingdom of God, and His righteousness, and all these other things will be added to you as well."

Make a point of honoring the Word of God physically… always keep it on the top shelf, or at least very high in the room, never lay anything on top of it, don't forget to kiss the Bible whenever you take it into your hands to read it, never neglect kissing its open pages as you get ready to close them after reading or prayer, never start or end any activity without remembering the Presence of God, do not neglect meditating on Him on your bed at night, thank Him at every opportunity in private and in public, aloud when there are hearers. That's some of the basics.

What? Don't you say, love your neighbor as yourself? Why don't you mention going to church regularly, studying the Word of God every day, never neglecting prayer, etc., never neglect to help the poor, give to all who ask, etc., etc.?

Well, yes, do these other things too. But I thought you were just asking how to beat back the incursions of the unwanted crops, not how to plant the good ones as well!

The value of physical ceremony in the spiritual life is that the senses accept readily what the body does, and they tutor the emotions and mind. Your marriage wouldn't last long if you did not perform the ceremony of kissing your spouse daily and making the effort to look after her/his needs. In the same way, to lay the foundations of your utter dependence on God by doing simple ceremonies, as the ones I suggested, will beat back the incursions.

Makes sense? No? But it works.

Kenny said...

Romanos - thank you for this very wise and practical response.