Today’s Readings for the Daily Office
Psalm 26, 28 (Morning)
Psalm 36, 39 (Evening)
“What is the greatest commandment?” What is the one thing that if I get it right everything will be okay?
This is the question that the Pharisee asked Jesus. Maybe he thought that life is so complicated that there couldn’t be just one thing that would make it all work. His religion, like our whole society, was filled with so many rules that it seemed impossible to keep up. Life was confusing and complicated and overwhelming. Sound familiar?
But Jesus had an answer for him and for us. “Love God.” That’s the short version. The long version is “Love God with your whole heart, mind, soul, and strength and love your neighbor as yourself.” Actually, two amazing quotes from the Torah. Jesus, being a good Jew, cut knew his scripture.
A few years ago I was listening to one of those self-help CDs on a trip and it suggested that I should establish my “primary intention”. I immediately thought my primary intention is to know God now. As soon as I had that thought I could sense of my life beginning to change. I experienced a tangible Presence in the car with me. In the months following I began meditating every day. I went on several long silent retreats. I discovered other people who had established this same primary intention. Something very real happened to me when I discovered this very simple reality. To simply love God above all else. Here’s a quote from David Frenette’s book that helps me to understand this simplicity deal.
“There is something very simple about God. Simple like a child’s laughter that breaks forth, spontaneously, without guile. Simple like when you act, immediately and directly, to help someone who falls in front of you. Simple like the way you just find yourself awake in bed, all of a sudden, in the morning sunlight. God is simple like the way every moment of time, in its ordinariness, holds the gift of your life—like this moment, now. When you simplify your mind’s actions, you reduce them from many to one. Your many thoughts and strategies of finding truth, of seeking God, of discovering what your own life is about, are simplified into truth itself, into God, into life itself. In the clear, immediate, unadorned moment of life, God just is. All you need do is to simply awaken to this truth, over and over again.” [my underlining]
It’s the “over and over again” part that keeps me humble. For every moment when I love God simply and completely a moment follows when I’m pissed off and confused by the behavior of my fellow beings (or my own!). But it definitely gets better. I experience more and more moments of simply loving God. Practice, practice, practice. It’s the real deal.
So simply put my friends, once again, in the end we are left sitting in a room full of people perfectly capable of loving one another.
Written by Andrew Kilgore
I am a photographic artist living and working in Arkansas since 1971. I have a degree in philosophy and a year of seminary. I began with the intention of a life in ministry. I have ended up serving that ministry with a life full of pictures. Praise the lord!