Yesterday I discovered yet another area of my life where I’ve been getting in God’s way. I tend to do that sometimes. But He lovingly showed me how to stop blocking Him and just say, “yes”. I thought that I was doing well by “trying” to do what was needed, but now I realize that I was cutting God out of the mix and trying to do something on my own strength. It’s what a friend calls D-I-Y religion.
Last night I was reading Thomas Merton – New Seeds of Contemplation. Something that he said in that book struck me with revelation. He was talking about contemplation being a gift from Father. My job was simply to be fully present and to allow Him to bless me. This idea is what lead me into thinking about my need to be the “yes” for both my growth and healing. Merton further said something that lead me to grasp that my growth was my healing. They are one in the same thing. If I will simply turn toward growth, the healing happens all by itself.
I’ve come to realize that “yes” is my first and simplest expression of the powerful freewill that Father God has given me. Because He will never override or violate my freewill, this simple first expression is my permission to Him that I am willing to receive whatever He wants to bestow upon me. After that permission, it is imperative that I remain in “yes” and stay out of His way as He helps me. Lastly, a big part of my “yes” is that I want transformation. I want to change.
The other day I got a rather serious medical report from my neurologist telling me that I have problems. Some of them are in my brain. Some are my body. Most, if not all, of them are reversible, and it’s up to me to just get on with it. It’s up to me alone. This is my own choice.
Okay, back to my being the “yes”. It has to do with the idea that at times I get in God’s way when He has simply wanted to help me all along. My various doubts, challenges, and fussiness all add up to my blocking Him and not allowing Him to guide me into full health. This is the barest essence of what Merton was talking about. Many times I get in God’s way. Somehow I seem to think that it’s up to me alone to do the doing without a full submitted reliance upon Father God. Even though I know better from other ares of my life, I’ve found that I have still been doing this with regard to my physical healing.
I had to ask myself, has my health improved in the last few years? The truthful answer is no. On my own effort, nothing has changed long-term. I’ve not become the new person physically that I can and want to be. I’ve been doing all of this work on my own strength. And that’s what Merton was talking about in his writings on contemplation; it is God Himself who brings me into the relational experience, the intimacy, and the revelation through contemplation. It’s a gift pure and simple. All I need do is say, “yes” and receive – Amen.