Reshaping Our Lives

Wednesday, September 25

9-25By Rosemary Holmes of Clay Cross, Derbyshire, England

Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me. Do not cast me away from your presence, and do not take your holy spirit from me.

—Psalm 51:10–11

With some sadness, I recently witnessed the gardener pruning heavily three 80-year-old lime trees in our garden. They had become too tall and overpowering. When in full leaf they kept out the light. This not only caused some of their lower limbs to die, it stunted the flowers and shrubs beneath them. Though I felt sad, I knew in the spring the trees would branch out again toward their former glory.

Pondering this, I thought about our own lives and our influence on others. As the years go by our thoughts and ideas, if biased and outdated, not only affect our own growth but may stifle the development of those around us. May we have the grace to let go of stale precepts. And, may we have the generosity to share God’s continuing truth.

We should try always to be sensitive to the needs of others. We periodically should reevaluate and reshape our own formation. As we gain new perspective, those with whom we associate will encourage us to grow spiritually.

Prayer for Peace
God of all growing creation, help us find the time to reevaluate our perceptions of your truths. Give us courage to prune those ideas that stifle our own growth and the growth of those around us. Build into our lives an inner strength that influences others for good. Renew us as we grow toward the light and reach for higher levels of spirituality and understanding. Renew in us the will to share the peace of Jesus Christ.

Spiritual Practice: Weeding the Garden
Inner transformation can take place amid daily activities and work. Try cultivating the spiritual discipline of grace and acceptance while weeding the garden. As you pull each weed, offer a short prayer. Tug. (God remove from my heart all prejudice and fear.) Tug again. (God, keep me from making unjust judgments.) As you remove the weed, continue praying. (Plant in my heart the seeds of your love.) If you don’t have a garden, try this kind of transforming prayer today while doing repetitive activities or work (cleaning out a closet, washing dishes, cleaning the floors, mowing the lawn).

Peace Covenant
Today, God, I will be aware of how I might help Develop Disciples to Serve.

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1 Comment

  1. Vera Entwistle

     /  25 September 2013

    Greetings to you and yours from Fort Collins, Colorado. Your story today gave me lots of reasons to evaluate my life and whatever influence I may be on others. I think there are “limbs” in my life that need to be trimmed. You reminded me of an old hymn we used to sing in Wigan….something about our life being a garden with flowers and weeds…and ended with “We’ll scatter good seed in word and in deed, and Jesus will bless us we know.” While some of those old hymns now seem corny, they did have good messages. Love to you from Brian and me.

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