Dear brothers and sister,
Good afternoon. What a hot day in October! After running some errands and attending a meeting before lunch, I hardly slowed down for meditation without falling asleep. But I need time to recharge myself, otherwise, I will be running low on spiritual energy. Tomorrow is a clean up day in my office. It will be a day for work out – I hope I will not be too tired for my preaching trip to New York the day after. Pray that it is a bonding time for our team in truly working on a common project together. I look forward to this exercise day.
We are only capable of renouncing a false life when we are familiar with a real life. Those years of association with Jesus for the disciples, years of “growing up,” were years of realizing in sharp and precise detail that life is what God gives us in Jesus: grace, healing, forgiveness, deliverance from evil, a miraculous meal, the persona presence and word of God. And now that they know what it is, they know it is not self-preservation, self-help, self-aggrandizement, self importance. Life is the Jesus-revealed life that becomes plain as day in the cross—the sacrificial life, the life that loves generously and extravagantly, the life that through voluntary and sacrificial death to self becomes resurrection for the world. So—“deny yourself and take up your cross.”
Renunciation clears out the clutter of self, of false spiritualities, of pseudo-life so that there is room in us for God and true spirituality and eternal life. Not infrequently in dealing with these matters of intense and precious and endangered spirituality in our youth, we parents in a shock of recognition see that our spirituality is in question: we have let a busy life substitute for a spiritual life, and a responsible life replace a responsive life. Sometimes, to our surprise, we realize that pseudo spiritualities have turned into addictions that are destroying our inner life, robbing us of freedom, leaving us flatfooted and tuneless in our midlife. When that happens the adolescent in our home very often is in a position to do John the Baptist work for us as a “prophet of the Most High” (Luke 1:76) and make us aware of the presence and glory of Jesus. We’re given a second chance to cultivate the resonant depths of soul that make it possible to both “glorify God and enjoy him forever.”
Indeed, God used our children to humble us – to make us aware of our inadequacy, and make us depend on Him even more. Our adolescence children frequently removed our pseudo-life and make us naked before the Almighty God in begging for mercy. Yes, how much do we need to grow up and be real to ourselves – but we need to recognize our pseudo-self before we can truly renounce it. Otherwise, our true “old self” is still safely preserved behind our false holiness and superficial spirituality. Have mercy on us O Lord!
With love in Him,