Thursday, January 22, 2015

Jan 22 - Do I Really Have To Be Obedient?

Commit your way to the Lord and put your trust in him, *
and he will bring it to pass.
Psalm 37:5
Such people as these immediately put aside their own concerns, abandon their own will, and lay down whatever they have in hand, leaving it unfinished. With the ready step of obedience...
Benedict's Rule 5:7-8 (Chittister, Pg. 68)
...we put down our own concerns, allow ourselves to be led by the insights of another, treat our own best interests with a relaxed grasp. We empty ourselves out so that the presence of God can dome in, tangible and present and divinely human.
Chittister, Pg. 69
Where does this word "obedience" come from? Do I really need to be obedient? I thought I was grown up, no one has control over me... Note to self: "You get to choose your obedience, it's not like your someone is going to put you in time-out if you are disobedient..." (At least if I obey the law and don't get arrested.)  Perhaps now I can admit the need for obedience, the next question I have is "Obedient to what?" To me Sister Joan answers this with "The claims of the community we are in." But I am not a monk, so what "community" are we talking about that has claims? Sister Joan goes on to define these communities: "both old and young; in the person we married; in underlings and children; in old parents and boring in-laws". We could probably come up with quite a number of communities we are in. Then all I need do is listen for the "voice of God in the demands of community life..."

And here I am, somewhat back to the beginning. I come face-to-face with the fact that sometimes even when I hear God, I just don't want to be obedient, I want to do what I want. For this I have no answer, but the Psalm verse has a glimmer of hope: Put my trust in the Lord and he will bring it to pass...

A Note To Anyone Reading:

This entry is part of a series that is developing as I read The Rule of Benedict, A Spirituality for the 21st Century, Joan Chittister, Crossroads, 2010. I am offering this both to those at St. George's Episcopal Church, Arlington VA, that may be reading Ms. Chittister's book and to anyone that is interested.

Unless stated otherwise quotes from St. Benedict's Rule from the translation in this same book.
Psalms are from The Book of Common Prayer, The Episcopal Church, 1979 unless otherwise noted.

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