Wednesday, March 22, 2023
How to Inhabit Time by James K.A. Smith
Lenten Devotional by Mike Olsen
“Tuning in” to God’s Timetable
One of my favorite Bible verses comes in Kings 19, when Elijah meets the Lord. Elijah is on a mountain top and God passes by in a great wind, but says nothing. Then there is an earthquake and then a fire – but nothing yet. Then Elijah hears a “still small voice,” or as other versions have it, “a gentle whisper.” The Lord is whispering to us!? The God of “power and might?”
In his How to Inhabit Time, the author James Smith says when we listen and hear the small voice, we are practicing “discernment.” I am reminded of the line in that old Sunday School song “Jesus Wants Me for a Sunbeam” where we were to meet Jesus “at home, at school, at play.” Or on the assembly line, in the produce section of the supermarket, or the unemployment office.
In this Lenten season, we are especially spiritually aware, but Smith writes, “Every season is a season for listening, and perhaps especially listening to voices and whispers to which you haven’t attended before.” Smith also quotes Pope Francis on “discernment” from his Apostolic Exhortation Gaudete et Exultate: On the Call to Holiness in Today’s World, “We need [discernment] at all times, to help us recognize God’s timetable, lest we fail to heed the promptings of grace and disregard his invitation to grow.” Pope Francis adds, “It is a gift we must implore,” calling on the Holy Spirit to guide us.
And when do I hear “voices?” Especially when I go out for the morning paper – snow or no snow – there are rabbit tracks, a squirrel dodges behind a tree, those dratted magpies are at it again – and the rising sun is turning the Rampart Range pink.
Take Time to Be Holy
Take time to be holy, let Him be thy Guide;
And run not before Him, whatever betide.
In joy or in sorrow, still follow the Lord,
And, looking to Jesus, still trust in His Word.
Text: William D. Longstaff – 1822-1894
Tune: George C. Stebbins – 1846-1945
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