The weekly Glimpses of God are opportunities to recognize, with greater clarity,the presence of God in the various places, people, events, situations and circumstances of your daily life. I offer them to you as an opportunity to reflect on howmuch God, as you understand Him, is a part of your life,how He chooses to use you and how you have chosen Him.They are glimpses because we can miss them if we are not paying attention. But if we open our heart to His love, if we open our ears to hear His gentle voice, if we open our eyes to see His light, if we open our hands to feel His hand in ours, and if we are open to share these gifts with others, then we too are being a Glimpse of God to those in our family, church, community,neighborhood, society and world.
Glimpse of God for the week of September 15, 2019
Thank you God, for the refreshment of Summer,
and let us celebrate with you, the newness and your tapestry of Autumn.
Next week, wewill enter the season of autumn. Take this last week of summer to look back and reflect on summer and whta it has offered: the many more hours of Son light, the rain, the storms, the winds and the variety of miscalculated weather conditions, let us seek to see all of this in the light of God’s love. The many hours of God’s light, the warmth of His love, the abundant showers of His blessings and graces, and the gentle whispers as heard in the wind.
As for the miscalculated weather conditions, let us humbly seek His forgiveness as we have sought to know His will without asking Him, and then doing our own thing, as we thought best, without seeking His direction. They were the times perhaps when we experienced the storms of life, the uncertainty, the fears, the personal frustrations that became overwhelming to our spirits and overflowed in prayer life, our words, through our actions. BUT in all this His love was overwhelming and present through us because there is nothing that we can say or do that will make Him love us less. HE CAN’T. HIS LOVE IS PERFECT EVEN WHEN OUR LOVE IS NOT.
Summer is not over, although school has begun, the time at the shores seems to have ended, the pools have been covered and the cookouts, well might have lessened, it is still the time of light, wearing white and a light heartedness that can still abound from you. So don’t let the cookouts end as long as there are family and friends to gather with, still wear white to symbolize the refreshing spirit that should still abound from within you, and even though most pools are covered and times at the shore are minimal, look back the many memories that you have collected this summer and share them, don’t just put them away for next year or never.
As youprepare for the season of autumn, strive to let go of any negative thoughts, attitudes or emotions, let them fall away from your desire to be your true self. Let the radiance and brilliance of mercy, empathy, compassion, love, understanding and selflessness be what people see in you as you try to be the tree that not only bears good fruit and whose leaves never fade, but genuinely looks good as well.
Let the glory and awe of the tapestry of color that is before you remind us of the awe and love that God has for you. The love and awe that He has because you are His beloved child, touched and filled with His grace as you desire to change, and be transformed so that you can become your best self, the person that He created you to be and have the potential to become.
SUNDAY - “S” = a SINCERE Compliment
For today, let us be sincere in what we say to others. It is nice to compliment others, but if we are not sincere, we are lying and misleading them. Sincerity comes from a heart that loves and is caring, selfless and not selfish or self-centered. Can you see that God has given you a sincere heart, one that loves and has been filled with His grace that invites you to not count the cost or hold onto grudges?
As you behold the beauty of the autumn leaves and the splendid color that they behold, can you see how splendid you are and how much color you bring by your sincerity and love for others, your selflessness and compassion? Do you see that in your sincere words and actions, you have helped another recognize that they are God’s beloved son or daughter, loved unconditionally and without limits?
MONDAY - “A” = Living God’s Great ADVENTURE
For today, let us try to be more open to God’s wonders. Being young at heart is a gift. It means that we try not to get stuck in an attitude or disposition that is “old”, one that has no room for growth, openness, self-awareness or transformation. No matter what our number age is we can be old at heart at 21 or young at heart at 105. Being young at heart can make living life like a great adventure whereas being old at heart can make living life like a tedious challenge.
Are you ready for a great adventure? Can you prepare for the adventure, the journey, that Jesus has ready for you? The journey that promises that no matter what may come, you will not be overcome or defeated but will overcome, that your heart will not shrink but will be expanded?
TUESDAY - “F” = seeing the FACE of Christ in others
For today, let us strive to be more thoughtful with and towards others. Being thoughtful requires being other centered and knowledgeable and not judgmental or ego centered. When we take the time to get to know others, we get to know the true person and not the image or the façade that they try to present. Being thoughtful means seeing past the points or aspects of someone that we may not agree with or like, but seeing the good and the face of Christ like in them. When we are not truly genuine or thoughtful, we can be like the leaf that is falling off the branch, it has no root or growth, but rather it has become colorless and lifeless.
How thoughtful are you? How thoughtful are people towards you? Can you remember how you touched someone’s heart by your acts or words of thoughtfulness, sincerity and genuineness? Can you recognize the many colors of your thoughtfulness, genuineness, sincerity and joy for life in your new leaf of life in Christ? Keep looking, God knows that you are thoughtful, genuine and sincere, others have experienced your new life and leaf in Christ and God wants you to know it to. You have taken the time to see the face of Christ in those you encounter and have encountered, as you look in the mirror do you see His face? If not, why? What hold you back from seeing Him in you? If you do see His face, do you thank him?
WEDNESDAY - “L” = Becoming LEARNED in the wisdom of God
For today, let us take an extra step in love to learn more about someone else. It takes a lot to want to become learned and to gain knowledge of a broad variety of topics and issues. When someone is learned they have taken the time to gain knowledge of a variety of topics, experiences, but most importantly the lessons taught by Jesus in the Gospels. People becoming learned so that they can share their knowledge with others and relate to more people. Becoming learned as a Christian is about knowing the will of God and how we can live that out in our life. Becoming learned in life is not only about book knowledge, but the knowledge and language of the heart and how we can reach out to others and build them up and not tear them down. We become learned in the will of God, an experience that is ongoing because it is an ongoing movement of spiritual growth and is not stagnant.
How learned are you? Do you recognize how God has given you the desire to learn about His will for you, how you are living it out and how you are being His light to others? Do you need to have a Bachelors, Masters or a Doctorate degree from a University to become a learned individual about the will of God? They are given as tools to help, but should not be seen as the final tool to seek and know the will of God.
No, what you need and already have is a blank page so that God can write His plan and His will for you, where the only book you need is the Bible, the only writing tool you need is your free will, and the only test is the one where you challenge yourself to be more Christ centered today than you were yesterday.
THURSDAY -“S” = Being SELFLESS and not selfish
For today, when tempted to be selfish choose to be selfless, not with a grudge but with a smile. Being selfless or selfish, what do you want to be? Being selfless is about giving of one self for the good of others. To be selfless is a challenge because it goes against the devil’s desire for us to be selfish and self-centered. When we seek to know about others for their good, to be sincere, to become learned about others and their experiences, it is an act of selflessness. When we focus on our self and the desire to use the knowledge about others as a tool of power and control, that is selfishness. Being selfless is not easy, being selfish is. As we look at the fullness of autumn, imagine that your acts of selflessness are the new colors that ware emerging before you in the trees and the leaves, the fullness that they show and the brightness that they exude.
Do you see that you are selfless and not selfish? What would others say? In your prayer, do you hear and listen as God gently speaks to you in gratitude for your acts of selflessness and thanks you for not choosing to be selfish instead? And…. even if you realize that you were selfish, can you listen as Christ speaks lovingly to you as He did from the cross, Father forgive them for they know not what they do?
FRIDAY “I” = Listening to God’s INSPIRATION within
For today, let us listen with our hearts and minds to God’s inspiration. Spiritual motivation and inspiration are when we are given the gift of God’s Holy Spirit that allows us to speak his gentle whisper to others or a challenging word, to write His words for others to read or for us to reflect on, to help others to carry their cross or to ask others to help us carry ours. Our response involves a personal surrender of our own words in speech or writing or actions so that God’s words, desire or invitation may be revealed through us.
When we feel motivated or inspired, we feel blessed that God has given us the words to speak perhaps at a difficult time or a time when we had no idea what we were going to say, but trusted that God would provide the words that needed to be said. Motivation and inspiration come when the Spirit of God is stimulated and alive and through that action and life we choose to use His words and not ours, when we choose to trust in Him and not in what we think we need to say or write.
God’s inspiration or motivation is what allows us to help others, especially when we had no idea that they were struggling, or when sought the aid of others when our cross seemed too heavy to bear alone. Your inspiration to others was your autumn of color in their life when perhaps their leaves, their color seemed all too black and white and they were seeking to see God’s tapestry of color that they knew was there. As we enter into the season of autumn and we look at the tapestry of color that is before us in the tress, leaves and the fullness that brings the tapestry to life, be open to the reality that you are the fullness and the new life that others are seeking and by your inspiration that had they chance to experience.
When was the last time that you felt motivated to speak his voice or write His words, or help others to bear their cross or asked others to help you bear yours? Your response was the Holy Spirit’s invitation to share His gifts and fruits in and through your words, actions, deeds and prayers. Can you listen to the words of consolation, understanding, and empathy that you offered another and see that you were truly motivated and inspired?
SATURDAY - “T’ = The gift of genuine TRUST
When we can trust another and when someone trusts us, it is a gift. When someone betrays our trust, it hurts beyond any physical pain that we may endure. When we find someone that is trustworthy, we know that we can open our hearts to them and be received with tender love and care, as well as with tough love, honesty and truth.
As you think of being trustworthy, can you think of a time where you were betrayed and how it felt? Can you remember when you betrayed another, maybe unintentionally or not, but in any case, someone was hurt very deeply. Can you also think of how it feels to be trusted by another, and how it feels to finally trust others? Jesus was trustworthy yet He was betrayed. As His followers we can expect to experience the same thing. Are you ready to forgive or seek forgiveness? Do you have an attitude of gratitude to God for those who He has placed on your path so that through your trustworthiness, they have come to see a glimpse of God in and through you? The past hurts and betrayals are the old leaves that are falling to the ground and your ability to forgive are the new and colorful leaves of mercy, compassion and trust, and fullness of love in and through your expanded heart of love that God has given you and you have accepted.