Day 3

Breaking Busy

June 11, 2019

Has there ever been a time in history where being busy has been made more convenient? We have umpteen opportunity to add to our calendars athletic engagements, organizational gatherings, overtime work, commitments, meetings and extracurriculars. This is on top of baseline obligations to all things school, social and church. But I’m afraid even quitting commitments might not make us less busy. That’s right. The type of busy we must address in our preparation for Pentecost is the busyness of the mind and heart, as that is what truly suffocate the Spirit. Why can we not wait in a grocery line without swiping, scrolling or snapchatting. Why do we feel anxious without a continual feed of podcasts, streamings or social media? We have become more comfortable being fed others’ thoughts than sitting silently in the empty moments with our own. And yet Mother Teresa insists it is in the silence of the heart that God speaks. The silence of the heart. Perhaps more than the enemy wanting to destroy the Spirit’s presence in our life, he simply wants to distract us from it. The Spirit is hindered by our bulging calendars, yes, but more so by our busied minds. For the Spirit to be received, we must empty our mind’s time and attention of unimportant fillers. While there are many things we are committed to, a busy life is not an excuse for a busy mind. The Spirit is ready to fill the places we have otherwise filled with our feeds. Where can we empty that He may better fill? Commit to finding ten minutes during the day - in the morning, on a commute, waiting in a line, before bed - you will welcome the Spirit intentionally that you would otherwise occupy with literal or figurative noise.

Day 11

Love • June 21, 2019

Love. A word tossed around as much as any, but perhaps understood less than most. When something’s been cited as both the starter of war and the motive behind martyrdom, it’s difficult to understand all that it implies. So we know we’re called to live it, but we don’t understand how love should look. I think if God would have us know anything about love, He’d want us to know that He is love. As His adoptive sons and daughters, it is our inheritance and it is our obligation. And our call to love can be summed up in nothing more than seeking Him. Our problem is instead we seek pseudo-love in lesser goods and wonder why dysfunction follows. Pseudo-love seeks feeling loved and goes to any length to get it. Pseudo-love does good with hidden agendas of accolades, amends or satisfaction at the least. Pseudo-love manipulates with kindness and serves self in the name of goodness. We have muddied our legacy of love with our narrow-minded motives. Let us seek the King and His kingdom and, as result, watch love be released on every corner of this marbled planet. Only in faithfulness to the God who is love can we embody it accordingly. Commit to taking a few minutes today to asking the Father to fill you up with His perfect and pure love that you may spill it out to those around.

Day 10

Intro to Fruits of the Spirit • June 20, 2019

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23 It would be hard to talk of the Spirit and not consider what He makes manifest in our lives. For the next portion of our journey to Pentecost, we’ll unpack one fruit of the Spirit per day, reflecting on why or why not and to what extent each quality may be evident in our own lives. But before inclining ourselves to yield more fruit, we must hear this most clearly: our application of the fruits is not a lesson in behavior modification. Sheer will to do good is sure to fail. The fruits of the Spirit are called fruits for a reason. They are the result, the produce, the product. The fruits are not the objective. They are evidence of the objective. We do not aim for the fruit. We channel our efforts into transfiguration and the fruit is what naturally follows. Our focus, then, should not be on displaying outwardly more fruits of the Spirit, but in permeating ourselves inwardly with the Spirit himself. As in any athletic competition or artistic performance, the results take care of themselves. Our part in the game is to orient ourselves to the process. The more we steep our soul in the Spirit through the Word, through prayer, through journaling or any other means of connecting with God, the more good fruit will follow. For we know that “a good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart.” (Luke 6:45) Commit to immersing yourself in whatever fruit of the Spirit we are studying these next nine days. Focus more on receiving that fruit from the Spirit as opposed to straining to manufacture it yourself.