I'm always amazed at this old leather backed companion that I spend time with every morning. It's been a fifty year discipline (that's half a century, folks!) which has always presented me with choices.
I can defer to others, just believing what I was taught, then reinforce that by reading various devotionals, which I often do. However, always before or after that, I open the book, wherever I last stopped. It's not ritual, it's expectation!
I am never disappointed, though sometimes I struggle with how the writer and very often the Church may have heard what they/we seem to have heard. That's where the Spirit comes in!
The first words read this morning were,
"And he entered into a ship, and passed over, and came into his own city." Matthew 9:1
This was moments after I had checked my phone for overnight messages, one being a caution from a long time friend, given where he felt I might be headed given recent thoughts and my transparency around sacred scripture.
I then opened the Bible.
IMMEDIATELY, I saw the words, "came into his own." To me, a reassuring "Word" that each of us must come into his/her own! For years, we evangelicals have reinforced "a personal relationship with Jesus Christ."
Respectfully, though unfortunately for some, that means beginning a journey that looks like theirs/mine. If sameness was the objective, we would all look alike, walk alike, "quack" alike...that's more the description of a duck than a disciple.
Our species is distinctly diverse. Visit the local mall, watch for hours and see if you see your twin (those of you who have sibling twins know what I mean).
Sure, there is a tendency to "fellowship" with those of common faith, we enjoy sameness, but in any crowd you should stand out distinctly, in some way and yes, beyond how you dress!
You represent a "piece" of God that has never been assigned another, one that "passes understanding" and for a reason! Your "womb work" was different than mine!
Even with identical twins, a split from the same egg, though they may look alike, they have different personalities, little "s" spirits (my belief).
God is so inexhaustible that assigning a new piece to each of us, even over eons of time is not a challenge. We are seeing that at last, even by way of the unending layers of galaxies!
Don't try to find yourself in others, find yourself in the I Am! Be who you Am!
Be "Yoself"! Had to throw that in for my Alma Mater, App State! Go Mountaineers!
God is not into mimicry, but an identity is always evident by way of one common denominator, a love for others!
Yes, that includes those who sometimes think differently than you!
Forgive me as I be me!