The Impatient Club

Make Haste

Oh lord make haste

I am a dues-paying member of the impatient club.

I get impatient with myself, with individuals, with slow service, with shoddy service, with life, and sometimes, with God.

I get impatient when people's attitudes don't turn on a dime, when people don't see the world the way I see it (and think that God does), when people are impatient with me, and with about anything else I have the capacity to be impatient with ...

Lack of funds ...
Criticism ....
My own critical spirit ...
Long lines ...
People just being human and flawed ...
My own flaws ....
With technology ...
With lack of technology ...
When technology out-guesses me ...
When technology does not know what I am thinking ...
Injustice ...
Justice without mercy ...

It is a lose/lose situation and, when I am most impatient, it looks like I have lots of enemies stacked up against me.

I can name many ... and most are headquartered in my head. My club dues are paid .

The dues are priced very high.

I can pray/sing with the psalmist the same prayer/song he prayed/sang. It is sometimes a hurried prayer for God to hurry. I just pray that I come to the same point of resolution. Amen.

"Make haste, O God, to deliver me!
O LORD, make haste to help me!
Let them be put to shame and confusion
who seek my life!
Let them be turned back and brought to dishonor
who delight in my hurt!
Let them turn back because of their shame
who say, “Aha, Aha!”"

"May all who seek you
rejoice and be glad in you!
May those who love your salvation
say evermore, “God is great!”
But I am poor and needy;
hasten to me, O God!
You are my help and my deliverer;
O LORD, do not delay!"

- Psalm 70, ESV


 

O Lord, Make Haste to Hear My Cry (Cannons)

Text from: The Psalter 1912
Tune: Cannons by: Greorg Friedrich Handel 1685-1759

O Lord, make haste to hear my cry,
To Thee I call, on Thee rely.
Incline to me a gracious ear,
And, when I call, in mercy hear.

When in the morning unto Thee
I lift my voice and bring my plea,
Then let my prayer as incense rise
To God enthroned above the skies.

When unto Thee I look and pray
With lifted hands at close of day,
Then as the evening sacrifice
Let my request accepted rise.

Guard Thou my thoughts, I Thee implore,
And of my lips keep Thou the door;
Nor leave my sinful heart to stray
Where evil footsteps lead the way.

O righteous God, Thy chastisement,
Though sent through foes, in love is sent;
Though grievous, it will profit me,
A healing ointment it shall be.

While wickedness my foes devise,
To Thee my constant prayer shall rise,
When their injustice is o’erthrown,
My gentleness shall still be shown.

Brought nigh to death and sore distressed,
O Lord, my God, in Thee I rest;
Forsake me not, I look to Thee,
Let me Thy great salvation see.

Themselves entangled in their snare,
Their own defeat my foes prepare,
O keep me, Lord, nor let me fall,
Protect and lead me safe through all.


A Stream of Consciousness in Prayer from Lament to Confession to Renewal

472px-Rembrandt_Harmensz._van_Rijn_-_Jeremia_treurend_over_de_verwoesting_van_Jeruzalem_-_Google_Art_Project
Prayer and reflection take us down paths of our own humanity and vulnerability to places where we meet God.

We are not perfected to pray; we are being shaped toward a limping perfection through prayer where God invites and we come.

We are not good at it. The men and women of the bible were not great at it, but they were honest and that honesty developed through and into faith, and that faith pleased God.

Lament. That is sometimes the dark starting place.

Lamenting over the magnitude of injustice, oppression, and wickedness was leading the troubadour to despair. He recounts the agonizing moments that were not left to dangle in meaningless resignation and then, he declares,

" ...But when I thought how to understand this,
it seemed to me a wearisome task,
until I went into the sanctuary of God;
then I discerned their end."

(Psalm 73:15-17 ESV)

" When my soul was embittered,
when I was pricked in heart,
I was brutish and ignorant;
I was like a beast toward you."

"Nevertheless, I am continually with you;
you hold my right hand.
You guide me with your counsel,
and afterward you will receive me to glory.
Whom have I in heaven but you?
And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you.
My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever."

(Psalm 73:21-26 ESV)

We live from our guts.

Gut wrenching emotions, laid bare before God, are prayer.

Ancient peoples believed that the gut was the seat of emotion so that to love from the heart indicated intention but "bowels of mercy" spoke of warmth and compassion - emotional responses to humanity. We make lots of choices from the gut and we believe our "gut feelings."

The psalmist prayed from the gut - tough, agonizing prayer - engaged and real:

"Save me, O God!
For the waters have come up to my neck.
I sink in deep mire,
where there is no foothold;
I have come into deep waters,
and the flood sweeps over me.
I am weary with my crying out;
my throat is parched.
My eyes grow dim
with waiting for my God."

(Psalm 69:1-3 ESV)

Yet, God has spoken and lifted high a standard for us. It is not as if all is open-ended and centered around our preferences, pains, and proclivities. 

We have Torah, the reed, the measuring stick of life, a law against which we can measure our own lives.

We have taken the law, written once on stone, and broken it.

There was much we could not understand and, in our weakness, much we felt, we could not do. Nor could we seem to restrain ourselves at the place of prohibitions.

The law on stones is broken, but God invites us again to provide the stones.

"At that time the LORD said to me, ‘Cut for yourself two tablets of stone like the first, and come up to me on the mountain and make an ark of wood. And I will write on the tablets the words that were on the first tablets that you broke, and you shall put them in the ark.’ So I made an ark of acacia wood, and cut two tablets of stone like the first, and went up the mountain with the two tablets in my hand. And he wrote on the tablets, in the same writing as before, the Ten Commandments that the LORD had spoken to you on the mountain out of the midst of the fire on the day of the assembly. And the LORD gave them to me. Then I turned and came down from the mountain and put the tablets in the ark that I had made. And there they are, as the LORD commanded me.”"

(Deuteronomy 10:1-5 ESV)

This same God will rewrite that law so that we will understand.

We look and find no suitable stones as Moses did.

However, if we will bring our stony hearts to the mountain. He will write His covenant and law there and our hearts will become softened and enlightened and we shall be transformed through truer, deeper knowledge and understanding of His ways.

This is a gracious and, sometimes, a painful process as we are etched and re-etched. 

It is how we learn, grow, and are transformed from what we were to what we are becoming. Hard times bring us to our senses and awaken our dissatisfaction. We see an invitation to come to God for help.

We come and are delivered --- again and again.

" You have made your people see hard things;
you have given us wine to drink that made us stagger."

"You have set up a banner for those who fear you,
that they may flee to it from the bow. Selah
That your beloved ones may be delivered,
give salvation by your right hand and answer us!"

(Psalm 60:3-5 ESV)

What are these times about? Are these utterly unique days or are we repeating an historic pattern of unrestraint?

If it feels good, we do it.

If it seems true, to us, we say it.

Such is the unrestrained life.

Such is not the disciple life.

It walks over people and offends God.

If that does not bother you; go ahead and live that way. There will be consequences, but that is your choice.

It is just good to be reminded that we are making that choice lest we feel righteous in our slander and consider it something other than sin. I like to know I am sinning before sinning. It makes the choice clearer.

Sometimes I kid myself.

“You give your mouth free rein for evil,
and your tongue frames deceit.
You sit and speak against your brother;
you slander your own mother's son.
These things you have done, and I have been silent;
you thought that I was one like yourself.
But now I rebuke you and lay the charge before you."

(Psalm 50:19-21 ESV)

Oh God, who sees me, knows me, and loves me while seeing through my pretensions,

There is nothing I can tell you about myself that you do not already know.

I am laid bare by your penetrating gaze and your Word divides by thoughts and attitudes, sorting them out in ways I cannot even comprehend.

You know all about me and still I have the urge to hide and cover myself with the leaves of shame.

Crack my facade, dissolve the masks I wear.

Give me the grace to be real today, real and vulnerable, and open and compassionate with myself and others.

Your love validates my existence and your mercy gives me courage to embrace the ugliness I see in myself, the impurity of my motives, the haughtiness of my words, the impulsiveness of my poor choices.

They are a part of all I have been and am becoming and I am not stuck in them, nor do they define me.

You define me and in freeing me to be me and become more, Your message from Jesus to me and through me that there is a possibility of joyous repentance and kingdom purpose ring true.

You know me and yet you choose me, in love, to be one of yours! I cannot wrap my mind around the grace of it, but I receive it that I may give it.

Make me, like Francis, an instrument of your peace today.

I am not worthy, but I am available.

Because I follow Jesus, I ask this in His Name.

Amen.

Pray where you are, who you are to the One who IS.


Spiritual Disciplines for Highly Distracted Souls - The Contemplative ADHD Heart

 

image from 3.bp.blogspot.com

Spiritual Disciplines for Highly Distracted Souls - That is my next book ... well, one of the next ones --- if I can concentrate enough to finish it .

Seriously now, some of you know exactly what I mean.

And you are the folks who are my kin in this particular skin.

We struggle to focus, but we must focus to struggle.

We know the deep value of grace in our lives be because we guzzle it like cool water on a scorching day in the sun. It is cooling balm to our blistered flesh. It is food for our souls when we are starving.

God, if my concentration is what is required to seek and find you, I am in trouble. Actually, I am in trouble ... have been ... will be, but I am not hopeless.

My concentration comes through distraction, through poly-focus, and through serendipitous discovery.

I see you in the commonalities of multiplicities.

I hear your voice arising from the cacophony of sounds in a dissonant chorus of groaning cries.

I see your face in the contorted faces of broken people.

I grasp your Word in the recurring themes of unlikely sources that echo your truth and highlight the verses that I read just yesterday or this morning as I struggled to keep my mind from wandering.

I sit as long as I can and listen. I walk as far as I can without veering off the path. I keep coming back to you and you are always there.

It is neither my mood nor my mind that guide me, Oh Lord of clarity, but your ever present hand and upon you, I lean.

I will follow you today. I commit my day to you.

I am easily distracted and often torn. I am likely to bounce from thought to thought and project to project, but I know that you are present in the midst to order my days and my moments ....

And in the precious, fleeting stillness of this moment, I commit all my moments and days ... and this day, in particular, to You.

Amen.


The virtual body illusion and immersive Second Life avatars : Neurophilosophy

The virtual body illusion and immersive Second Life avatars

Category: NeuroscienceTechnology
Posted on: October 8, 2009 4:00 PM, by Mo

SECOND LIFE is an online "virtual world" which enables users to create a customised avatar, or digital persona, with which they can interact with each other. It has become incredibly popular since its launch just over 6 years ago, with millions of "residents" now using it regularly to meet others, socialize and even to have virtual sex. Second Life is now filled with virtual communities and institutions - it has businesses and universities, and its own virtual economy.

via scienceblogs.com

And we saw it on House last week!


Does eating chocolate improve my mood as much as I think it does? : Cognitive Daily

Does eating chocolate improve my mood as much as I think it does?

Category: EmotionResearchTaste
Posted on: October 6, 2009 4:27 PM, by Dave Munger

ResearchBlogging.orgI think I've mentioned here before that I'm a big fan of chocolate. I get upset when coffee shops in my area only bring out the chocolates in the afternoon. Who says you can't have a chocolate chip cookie for breakfast?

Chocolate, combined with a cup of coffee, helps me work all the way through to the end of the day, when I'd otherwise be tempted to call it quits in the late afternoon. So naturally I was excited when Greta found a research report on the effect of chocolate on mood. Could there be scientific confirmation that chocolate helps you get through the day?

via scienceblogs.com