Daily Reflection
February 28th, 2002
Shirley Scritchfield
Institutional Research & Assessment
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Jeremiah 17:5-10
Psalm 1:1-2, 3, 4, 6
Luke 16:19-31

Do you ever feel like the “Universe” is conspiring to make you confront issues you need to confront?  I didn’t always, but I am beginning to wonder….  Today’s scriptures practically leapt off the page to touch my heart and my particular spiritual dilemmas at this point in my journey.

In one way or another, all of the scriptures speak to the urgency of putting one’s trust in the only thing or one who IS—God.  Jeremiah and the Psalm speak of the fruits of that trust; and, these scriptures are joined by the Luke passage in detailing the consequences of failing to do so.  But, that’s not news, is it?  No, the news for me is in how I am coming to understand the full meaning of trusting God in my life.

I am by “nature” a strong-willed person, one who fixes, one who takes charge, planning for tomorrow—and, acting out of a strong “need” for a sense of control.  I am one of those who feels most comfortable when she can take the first step on a journey knowing in advance where the journey will end.  Yeah, right?   Well, I know I can’t know the end, but sometimes I place so much faith in my actions that I act as if that were the case.  Sound familiar?

In recent weeks, my life’s journey has forced me to confront this “need”—to cause me to face up to the fact that my actions speak of one who hedges her bets.  “Well, I think I would really like to do that…BUT that just isn’t realistic, we can’t afford that, there is just no way.”  I have recently become aware that sometimes I really “know” in my heart of hearts that I am not trusting—essentially acting as if I know better than God.  How presumptuous is that?  More than that, what kind of statement is that about who and what I am?

Who am I apart from God?  Who gave me the gifts that I “possess?”  Who is the very ground of my being, if not God?  And, if not God, where is the ground?  

I’ve “known” this, but I haven’t KNOWN it—acted out of it in all that I do.  No, I have held back things, people, relationships, and ??? for the “superiority” of my own expertise.  But, just a few weeks ago I began to KNOW it in a whole new way.  At the suggestion of a dear and wise woman, I began reading Thich Nhat Hanh’s book, Going Home: Jesus and Buddha as Brothers.  In that book, he speaks of each of us as waves upon the ocean—the ocean being God.  That imagery, surely provoked by the Spirit, has caused me to look more closely at me, my faith, and my direction in a whole new light.  What is the wave apart from the ocean?  Any “fool” can see, the wave cannot exist apart from the ocean.  

Neither can I exist apart from God—even if at times I act as if I can.  So, maybe it’s time that I more fully acknowledged—trusted (?)—the presence of God in my being and acted out of that presence.  Like a wave on the ocean?  Who knows where the ocean may take me…it seem scary to the woman who hedges her bets…but with God as the ocean and the source of all that I am, surely there is nothing to truly fear.  

May it be so.


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