Monday, May 22, 2017

occupied

O Lord, my heart is not proud; my eyes are not raised too high; I do not occupy myself with this too great and too marvelous for me.  But I have calmed and quieted my soul , like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child is my soul within me.  O Israel, hope in the Lord from this time forth and forevermore. (Psalm 131:1-3)


I don't know about you, but all too often in this crazy and chaotic life I find myself exactly like King David--occupied.  And I do not mean that as a compliment.  The definition of occupied is to take or fill up (space, time, etc.).  Thus, to be occupied is to be full.  And, for me anyway, that is not a good thing.  It is what I am full of that is the problem. 

I long to be fully occupied by God, but all too often I am occupied by so many other things.  I am occupied by my needs and my insecurities and my fears.  I am occupied by my worries and my cares and my anxieties.   And, at the same time, in an incredibly odd way, I am also occupied by my pride and my arrogance, by my opinions and my agendas.  How in the world is that even possible?  Simply stated, I am full.  Full of things that take up space in my inner landscape.  Full of things that do not produce life and love in me.  Full of things that actually make me the worst version of myself, instead of the best. 

So full, in fact, that there is no room for anything else.  There is no room in me for God to move and to work and to act.  And if there is one thing I've learned through the years about the spiritual life, it's that it must have room in order to grow.  The soul needs open space and time, room for the winds of God to ignite the fires of the Spirit in a way that helps me burn with the passion and love for him for which I was created.

Thus, room must be made.  And how can room be made without the process of emptying taking place?  In order for the Spirit to have free reign in my soul, I must begin to empty myself of all that is not God.  I must let go of the chaos and the clutter and the sin and the dysfunction that fill my life.  I must spend time in reflection and confession and release, in order that there might be room created in me to receive the things that God most wants to give: joy and peace and love.  Please pray that I will have the courage and the strength to do so.


O great God of highest heaven, occupy my lowly heart.  Own it all and reign supreme, conquer every rebel power.  Let no vice or sin remain that resists your holy war.  You have loved and purchased me, make me yours forevermore. (O Great God by Bob Kauflin)

 

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