I believe that God only gives me as much as I can handle. Some times that’s a little, other times that’s a lot. Some times I’m open to all that God gives me, most times I try to control the flow (Note to self: Dan, you seem to have control issues!). I am experiencing a time of great abundance in creativity. I am experiencing a time of great joy.
A week or so ago a Facebook friend posted that he was a little dry with his song writing, so he was going to focus on learning other songs. That made me think about my writing experience. There are times when songs, poems and reflections seem to flow from inside me and other times when I feel like my friend in the desert. In reflection, I have come to learn that both conditions are OK if you believe that God only gives you as much as you can handle. Right now, God must believe I can handle a lot and my cup overflows!
For me, this change took place when I got back to a routine of journaling thoughts as I took time to pray Morning and Evening Prayer. And a big help in that endeavor has been praying a special prayer before hand. It’s a prayer included in some of the guidebooks for the Liturgy of the Hours and goes like this:
Lord, open my lips to praise your holy name. Cleanse my heart of any worthless, evil or distracting thoughts. Give me the wisdom and love necessary to pray this Office with attention, reverence and devotion. Father, let my prayer be heard in your presence, for it is offered through Christ our Lord. Amen.
You can strike the words “this Office” from this prayer and it becomes a universal prayer of preparation. Think of it as taking a cup that is turned over and setting it righ-side up, then praying to God: “Lord, fill my cup with as much as you think I need today.”
This prayer seems to be working for me at this time in my life. And, as I pray with more focus and less distraction, with paper and pen nearby to capture my thoughts, God has blessed me with an abundance of thoughts, phrases and scripture quotes that are getting my creative juices flowing. This has led to the beginning of some songs, a few short poems, and cataloging memorable thoughts that help me grow in relationship to God. My cup overflows (for now).
One day (and I never know when it will happen), the flow of thoughts will end for a time and I’ll be led to a desert place. That’s OK. That’s God’s way of telling me “Take it easy for a while. Let your mind soak up all that I have given you. In time, I will flood your mind and your soul with more insight.”
God knows me well. He knows that I need discipline and time to reflect. I think he wants that for all of us. Summer may be a great time to cash in on the gift of reflection and silence. Or it may be your time to overflow with insight. Either way, enjoy the gifts God so longs to share with you.
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