Season of Second Chances

For a second year in a row, circumstances prevented me from
retreating at the Abbey of Gethsemani.  Though disappointed, I decided to implement an alternative while remaining at home--
A Faux-Gethsemani experience.

The plan, recorded in my journal, included:

1.  No desserts - focus on fruit and veggies
2.  Read Bounds on prayer
3.  Pray
4.  Journal
5.  Serve others in love
6.  Candle daily
7.  Record blessings each day

Today - four days into my "experience"- I am lighting the candle for the first time.  I had desserts one evening, have fallen asleep almost every night a page or two into Bounds, have prayed little, journaled some, served feebly, and recorded blessings once.

In spite of my sporadic and interrupted efforts, I have a sense of being guided gently into a Season of Second Chances.  This, the title of a (secular) novel I finished prior to my Faux-Gethsemani week, has emerged as the theme of my week. 

Monday, on what would have been Travel Day, I received news of Elisabeth Elliot's death.  Many of her quotes have passed my computer screen throughout the week, contributing to and solidifying my passion to serve Jesus Christ faithfully.

"I have one desire now - to live a life of reckless abandon for the Lord,
 putting all my energy and strength into it.” Elisabeth Elliot


Then I read this from the pen of  Ed Stetzer  "The comfortable do not create movements. Instead, they originate with those who are desperate, demanding something different. Movements come from those who become more committed than they are now...We all need a cause bigger than ourselves, which can drive us to action with a holy dissatisfaction. I'd say that when women and men allow their faith to be tamed by the world, they end up with a 'nice religion' uninterested in the big issues like global evangelization, world poverty, and injustice. That's why I love passionate people. We need more, not less of them.  Christianity needs unreasonable people who are uncomfortable with the status quo and unwilling to be content with the current mode of life and church. We all need a cause bigger than ourselves, which can drive us to action with a holy dissatisfaction."   





This morning as I lit a  candle for the first time this week, I did so with the awareness that today is the last full day of my Faux-Gethsemani experience.  I'm thankful for all the "second chances" I've had in my life.   At age 66-and-a-half, I borrow Elisabeth's words and say with enthusiasm and expectation "I have one desire now - to live a life of reckless abandon for the Lord,  putting all my energy and strength into it."  So help me God!

 Unreasonable
Uncomfortable
Driven by a holy dissatisfaction
SO thankful for another Season of Second Chances

13 comments:

  1. I need a cause to be passionate about...I feel at times I am sitting on a shelf. I am thankful God is a God of second chances.

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    1. I've come to see "a shelf" as a place to practice "reckless abandonment" if that's where God has placed me.

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  2. Sounds as if your Faux - Gethsemani week has been excellent!

    Elisabeth Elliot's words have long inspired me, too!

    Sometimes we expect if we are living fully abandoned to God that it is going to look BIG and incredible like serving in Africa or something. Yet I have found that to live that way means being self sacrificing, serving others, right where I am. Daily to seek His will for me THIS day, and do it.

    Deanna

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    1. Yes! To your entire last paragraph. Yes.

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  3. God enters into our rest - wherever our path leads. I want to serve God, know God with all my heart. He's a mystery most days, and yet I feel as if I know him deeply. As you finish lighting your candles this time around, know that his candle burns brightly in you every day. You are "rest" to so many - keep living and giving from that place of illumination. Peace and prayers~elaine

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  4. Quotes that bring conviction! I'm so thankful that God doesn't give up on us.

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    1. Me, too. Convicted AND thankful :)

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  5. You are inspiring me to shine more and to give more and to accept God's love more. Thanks for your honesty about following and not following your plan.

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    Replies
    1. Had I made no plans, I probably would have never lit a candle, would have pigged out on sweets, prayed and journaled less than I did, etc. :)

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  6. What a beautiful post, full of honesty. I'm SO grateful that His mercies are new every morning!

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  7. Dear friend, whenever I read your writings my muscles relax. You inspire me and oh how I need that right now.

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Writing a Song a Week #3

Writing a Song a Week #3
♪ I wait for the Lord; my soul waits and in his word I hope. My soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen for the morning ♪ (Psalm 130:5-6)