Thursday, October 20, 2011

20 | Gentleness

I haven't been subbing a lot so far this year, so I am still looking for an early morning rhythm, a fluid routine to get me going on the days I teach.  Which means I'm quite the frantic bull in the china shop as I'm trying to get out the door.  And if anyone should try to coach me into a saner, softer place... Raaaahhhhhrrrrr!  (My poor, poor Mr.  Forgive me, Lord!  Forgive me, husband dear.)

This is just one example of the many places in my life I need some gentleness.  And so I pray...  Care to join in?

Your beauty should not come from outward adornment... Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.
1 Peter 3:3-4 (NIV)

Dear Lord,

Forgive me for racing around this morning, peevish and prickly.  Forgive me for my pinhole focus on myself, my agenda, my needs.  When I get like this, please soften my rough edges, Lord.  Please awaken my compassion.  Please spark my sensitivities.  Wash away my rudeness and fill me with your gentle spirit.

Lord, you made me a strong-willed, independent, first-born kind of gal.  I love that about myself.  And I hate it when that stubborn independence crowds out flexibility and responsiveness.  Help me to empty myself of all that I deem important in this fleeting moment.  Give me the strength to submit to your eternal perspective.  With your long and loving view comes a gentleness toward others, a willing to compromise and concede, to shave sharp corners.

Lord, you've shown me how to love myself, to pat my own back, to tune in to my talents and use them for your glory.  But keep me humble, dear Lord.  Help me to see others in their best light.  Keep my ego from coercing gentleness into a corner.  Remind me that the first shall always be last in your lasting kingdom.  Help me to be a humble servant who gently nurtures the faith and growth of your blessed children, my brothers and sisters in Christ.  

Lord, you've shaped me as a teacher.  Shape me as a learner, too.  Give me an open mind and heart to learning your better way.  Help me to see the teachers you place in my midst, and to welcome their wisdom, especially when I'm convinced I'm right.  Show me how I can grow in your love and in your word.

Gentle Breeze Photograph by Lyle Huisken

I thank you, Lord, for the wisdom Beth Moore imparts about gentleness as the "inward grace of the soul," a "calmness toward God in particular."  Clothe me in that gracefulness, that calm.  I want to center myself in your gentleness.  I want to lean into you, into your will and your way.  I am trying to give up fighting you in that sneaky way of boxing you into Sunday and being my own boss the rest of the week.  Be my boss, Lord, each and every day.  Lead me.  Humble me.  Teach me.  So that I may abide in you and reflect the beauty of your gentle spirit to everyone in my midst.


I hope you get a chance to tune in to the gentle, inward grace of your soul and our Lord today.

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