Jesus says “If you love me, you will keep my commandments”. Love turns into the fulfilling of the law. Liberty comes when we have learned to find our pleasure in “the good and acceptable and perfect will of God”. I often watch pianists master the keyboard. They have learned the laws of harmony and disciplined themselves to mastering the technique of “making music”. The delight that they bring to themselves and others generates musical freedom.
Our music group PULSE is hard at work preparing for a number of CHARITY CONCERTS. We structure these events around Public Holidays to present in the late afternoon. It’s a great time to meet and greet, but best of all there is hardly any traffic on the roads. Based on our knowledge of what works, we have to carefully order our preparation and practice hard if we want to achieve the intended result. People of faith find themselves adopting similar patterns of life by framing simple RULES around PRAYER, the use of TIME and MONEY.
PRAYER needs the discipline of regular thinking and regular praying. We need to think about our prayers and form good habits. If, for example we only pray when we feel like it, we shall feel like it less and less. Speak to anyone who holds a Gym membership card. They will tell you exactly what happens when the discipline disappears.
Unless we discipline ourselves by forming habits of self examination and preparation on the road of life, we will not master the art. Bondage to a mass of rules is contrary to the life of the Spirit. Forming good habits and sticking to a few SIMPLE RULES can be a great help. The Christian year provides a wonderful framework for the discipline needed.
I think the secret is to make one’s whole life a prayer. I remember when I first started out on the internet in November 1998, I always prefaced my e mails with the words “CONNEXION: ………………. ” followed with the subject on hand. Even though I could not see the recipients face2face, I felt connected and in tune with their life world.
Now, through the medium of writing regular Blogs I have developed a creative way to witness to the living reality of our faith in an effective way. I try to practice the presence of God by making connections between life and faith and faith and life. There’s a continual search for new paths and joy at the discovery of “bringing out the best in people”. I also give place to the sanctity of life.
In our lifetime, the idea of a world (global) community has taken practical shape. The size of the problem that confronts us is huge. We live in a world of diversity and no one clear word to meet the future exists. Decades of hard work ahead remain. Yesterday I was at Home Affairs in Wynberg seeking to register a Marriage which I conducted on Saturday. I had to wait 2 hours to await my turn. Every Department (organisation) in this country faces acute management problems. We face a reluctance for people to exert themselves beyond the bare minimum needed.
With the Psalmist of old I cry “How long O Lord must this go on?”. It’s frightening. What is needed is human understanding and skill, unending patience, and a willingness to devote time, maybe years, to the welfare of community. When the hymn writer says “Take it to the Lord in PRAYER” he reminds us that the Church is a unique instrument for making known to people the needs of the world and the means of relieving them.
As the good book reminds us “Daniel kneeled on his knees three times a day and prayed and gave thanks before his God”. The testimony of scripture is that ours is a God who always hears and who will always finally answer.