The Divine Hours: Prayers for Summertime (pp. 106-108)
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Guidance is a theme in this morning's office. From the "do not cast me off" to the "show me your ways" to the theme of "deliverance" to the potent theme of the Holy Spirit as the Alter Ego of Jesus within us, the theme of guidance runs through our office like a river.
The key to guidance is the sense of needing guidance. Some of us (perhaps more than we care to admit) our stubbornly convinced that we either have it figured out or that we can fight our way through something difficult. We don't have it figured out as often as we like, and fighting through life is the opposite of what Jesus intends for us. He has sent the Spirit to guide us -- so our Reading this morning tells us.
When my daughter, Laura, was about six or seven, I had it in my head that I would make her a bed out of wood. With the help of my father-in-law we drew up some plans, bought the oak, cut the wood to the general specifications, and then he began to chisel away some grooves at the end of the wood so it would fit firmly into the lathe, and then we'd be able to turn the lathe on, use the tools, and shape the square posts into a rounded bedstead. But, the grooving proved difficult, he had to run an errand, and he gave me this piece of guidance: "You better wait until I get back because I'm not sure the grooves are deep enough to hold the wood once it starts spinning." He left; I got to looking at the wood and the grooves and (knowing nothing about what I was doing) became convinced that the grooves were deep enough, and I'd surprise him by getting a little of the lathing done. I had the machine on for about 1 minute when the 4 foot piece of oak came flying off the lathe and smacked me in the face -- a little chip of a tooth, some smashed glasses, and a little cut under the nose (and plenty of blood) only persuaded me of one thing: I should have listened.
The secret to guidance is knowing that we need it. Today, perhaps, we could begin to look over the bedsteads of our life and see if we are admitting the guidance we need -- and to begin asking the Lord for guidance -- and to begin listening to the Spirit's still, but pure, voice.