Keeping My Mouth Shut

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I will preface this as it is very late, just past the midnight hour and I am fighting to stay awake and the reality that my 4:30am alarm is going to be ringing soon. Reading and writing a daily scripture reflection has become important for my own growth daily. I do not want to do it just because I have to do it. That being said, I am struggling tonight so here is my best effort, God willing.

I was fascinated with today’s first reading from Job 38:1 – 40:5. Job was a good man who loved the Lord. God permitted Satan to test Job and as I have written about recently, Job went through more than I think any of us could possibly handle.

God addresses Job with many questions, which would put Job and all of us in our place if we are filled with pride. It was the last question and answer that fascinated me. The Lord said to Job … Tell me, if you know all: Which is the way to the dwelling place of light, and where is the abode of darkness?” And now, a message to me from the mouth of Job … “Behold, I am of little account; what can I answer you? I put my hand over my mouth. Though I have spoken once, I will not do so again; though twice, I will do so no more.”

I am nobody. I do much better when I shut my mouth, listen more, pray and love. My opinion does not need to be known unless it is truly God speaking through me. Pride is a terrible sin and when I think my plan is going to work without consulting and discerning the Lord’s will in the Holy Spirit, I act a fool. Today, I seek to follow the words of Job and put my hand over my mouth. Lord help me. Your will be done.

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Mike Burke; Friday, September 30, 2016
Keeping My Mouth Shut

Pay Attention

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The words of Jesus that caught my attention in today’s short Gospel from Luke 9:43-45 were … Pay attention to what I am telling you. The Son of Man is to be handed over to men.”  We know what Jesus is talking about but his disciples did not understand. The Gospel says that the meaning was hidden from them so that they would not understand it and they were afraid to ask Him about it.

I wonder how many times Jesus has said to me, “pay attention to what I am telling you?” Too often, I am sure, but it is different now for me. I am older, hopefully wiser by the grace of God and I really want to listen and understand. I was thinking today how uneducated I am in the ways of the world. I work at a college and I am around some of the most brilliant people in the world. I read many blogs and what is shared is so often far above my understanding that I can only smile and shake my head. The bloggers I follow are very smart, well read and I am amazed at the knowledge and insights they share. I have learned very much from them. Thanks be to God.

What I have come to know about myself is that I have become a better listener of my Lord. I have grown to understand much that Jesus wills to teach me. One of the best things I have learned is that I cannot go wrong if I do everything out of love and glory to God. Living out the commandment to love the Lord with all my heart, soul, mind and strength along with loving my neighbor trumps all knowledge. It is no longer about me. It is all about others and giving God the glory.

I believe God puts people in my life and me in the lives of others to help us follow the narrow road to Him. We will share our gifts, our differences and our experiences. We will help each other and we will hurt each other. We will love and be loved. God permits it all. This is one great way, I believe, we “pay attention” to what Jesus is telling us.

Prayer: Speak Lord, your servant is listening and paying attention. Amen.

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Mike Burke; Saturday, September 24, 2016
Pay Attention