A special thanks to my boyfriend Jacob for sharing these wise words with me this week. I hope they can be as heart-stirring and thought-provoking for you as they have been for me.
“If there’s any order and discipline in your own soul, the doings of the other people won’t surprise you or put you out. If you are fond of interfering, to that extent you will always be faced with difficulties and distractions; if you were alright in yourself, if you’d really been through the process of purification, you’d be able to turn anything to good account, and profit by it.
Why is it that such a lot of things get on your nerves, and are always disturbing your peace of mind? Because you’ve never really died to self, never really weaned yourself away from earthly things. The unchastened love of creatures–that’s what disfigures and entangles a man’s conscience as nothing else does. If you refuse all outward consolation, heaven will come into your view, and fill you, again and again, with spiritual rejoicing.”- Thomas A’Kempis
Jesus, you are infinitely more worthy of my praise and contemplation than the earthly possessions, achievements, and titles on which I set my gaze. Forgive me for my quickness to hijack what rightfully makes up your kingdom and call it my own, stealing credit that belongs to you alone.
Father, wean me from earthly things; teach me to train myself in such a way that my own possessions become blurry in my peripheral vision, and instead you and your desires encompass the sole purposes and drives for my life. May my understanding and experience of your love deepen, and may that depth flow into my relationships with my fellow brothers and sisters. May I truly desire to lovingly have everything in common with my brothers and sisters–may my hesitation to share decrease and my eagerness to meet others’ needs increase. All of this for your glory, Jesus, not for my name’s fame. Amen.
For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised. 2 Corinthians 5:14-15.
Now the full number of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one said that any of the things that belonged to him was his own, but they had everything in common. Acts 4:32.
And a word from Mr. Steinbeck:
The quality of owning freezes you forever into “I,” and cuts you off forever from the “we.” –Grapes of Wrath.