“Ask and ye shall receive…” ~ Matthew 7:7
(Note: The following is a letter to three pastors whom I deeply respect. They are a constant source of inspiration and guidance. I put this letter on my blog because I want to share my answer from God with a wider audience.)
Dear Dale, Bill, and Brant,
I have been so disconnected spiritually for months—maybe years—probably since shortly after I moved to Florida from Massachusetts. This is not a good thing. I’ve been lazy about church and staying connected with God. Lately, it seems that so much is spiraling out of my control; because, after all, I have to control everything.
My to-do list today has a hundred more things on it than any normal person could possibly accomplish. Nonetheless, I said to myself: “It’s been weeks and weeks since I did any morning spiritual study.” So, I forced myself to sit down with my Bible and The Upper Room devotional. In a rather offhand way, I said, “Okay, God, give me a sign.” The Bible reading for today is: John 15:1–11. It starts: “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes.” Not a big deal, right? Wrong! Today’s first order of work for me is to proofread a book on pruning. That’s what I call a sign.
“Stay in Touch” is the devotion’s title and subject. The text tells about the importance of staying connected to God, and how when we ignore or don’t continue that connection, we fail to grow spiritually. My interpretation is that without the necessary pruning, we (I) become vines run amok, without any care or direction in which to grow. That pretty much sums up my spiritual path for far too long… a vine with a lot of crazy branches spiraling out of control, with lots of dead brush cluttering up the beauty of what could be a life that walks with and toward God.
Of course, I want to say that I have a new resolve… that I will be perfect in my spiritual walk and after this sign, I will never again stray or think that I am in control, even when I know I am not. Wrong. I know my human side all too well. And then there’s that imperfection inherent in being human. However, I have a pretty strong reminder that God, indeed, is paying attention, even when I am not, and He’s ready to prune me, to help me grow… and all I must do is lift my hands in prayer and open myself to that growth. I intend to do that much.
I leave you three with my wishes for a wonderful Holy Week. I also want you to know that you help guide my walk and for that I am grateful to you, and to God.
Today’s letter/blog is based on The Upper Room devotional for today, April 18, 2011: