Welcome to day six of our week of Lenten meditations using the ancient technique of reading scripture called divine reading (Lectio Divina). Using Lectio Divina, we let go of our own agendas and open ourselves to the word of God.
I invite you to share God’s word on you on your blog and then post it on this linky tools page. When you share your devine reading, I enter you in the drawing to win a free copy of Praying Scripture for a Change – in introduction to Lectio Divina by Dr. Tim Gray.
Scripture reading: Matthew 6:25-34
Meditation starter: God desires to bless us. We must simply receive his blessing.
Lectio Divina: There are four steps to Lectio Divina. Follow them as you prepare your blog post.
1. Lectio (read) – Gently read the Word of God, slowly and reflectively so that it sinks into us.
2. Meditatio (reflect) – Think about the text and ruminate upon it so that we take from it what God wants to give us.
3. Oratio (response) – Leave our thinking aside and simply let our hearts speak to God. This response is inspired by our reflection on the Word of God.
4. Contemplatio (rest) – Let go not only of our own ideas, plans and meditations but also of our holy words and thoughts. We simply rest in the Word of God. We listen at the deepest level of our being to God who speaks within us with a still small voice. As we listen, we are gradually transformed from within.
My Lectio Devina of Matthew 6:25-34 – Depending on God
I am told by sociologists that we in Generation X (born between 1965 and 1980) are independent, resourceful and self-sufficient. All of these secular “virtues” were taught to us as the gospel of protection against the ills of the world. Certainly they seem reasonable if one is not a disciple of Christ Jesus; but in my experience, they prevent disciples from entering into full communion with the Body of Christ.
So, it took me a long time to listen to the advice of Jesus when he said, “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life.” Worry does not mean “ignore your responsibilities and hope for the best”. Hope I what reserve for my salvation, but to hope that my worldly existence will manage itself is irresponsible and for me, has never worked.
I am a disciple, husband, and father of two children and these are significant responsibilities. I cannot properly attend to them if I allow my mind to worry to the point of anxiety. I have spent many sleepless nights worrying about many things that are utterly out of my control. This took away my sanity and fortitude to use my gifts from God to attend to my responsibilities.
In my adventure to live a devout life (in the secular world), the only known antidote to my anxiety is prayer. It is a simple correlation: the more I pray, the less I worry. Even when my intellect or ego cries out inside my head: WORRY NOW! I am literally comforted with the knowledge that “Your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.”
This comfort stops immediately the voice in my head that wants me to drive myself crazy with artificial anxiety.
Let us not seek “what the pagans seek” when they worry about clothes, food or drink. Let us instead turn our thoughts toward God so that we may receive his blessings and life fruitful lives that honor and glorify His name.
Let us depend on God and through prayer, cure our anxiety.