Ever have one of those Holy Spirit moments? You know when that book you need to read falls out of the shelf at you or when you open a book and what you need to hear at that exact moment is staring at you on that exact page? Or your devotional scripture is like a billboard with flashing lights? If we are mindful – those messages are there waiting to enlighten us.
Today, I had one of those moments. I was arranging my library books, considering what I might read next and what needs to go back to the library. I found a book that was recommended during a recent course I was taking. The recommended book was Emotionally Healthy Spirituality by Peter Scazzero. This book has been sitting in my “I will get to it” pile for a while now and today I picked it up and opened it. There, staring at me was the section of the book which spoke about Job emerging from his suffering, transformed. Job made the choice to “climb the ladder of humility”. Scazzero, goes on to talk about St. Benedict’s developmental step by step approach to grow in grace and humility, indicating that the goal was for perfect love and transformation of our entire personalities. Taking St. Benedicts’s approach, Scazzero developed his own 8 step ladder. As I read thru the steps, I got stuck on step 4 of the ladder!
“STEP 4: Patient to Accept the Difficulties of Others – Life with others, especially when living in community, is full of aggravations. This requires we give others a chance to figure out their weakness their own way in their own time.”
I have been trying really hard to be good at that. If I get aggravated or irritated by someone else’s actions or things they say or do, I pray. I bless them. I ask God to gently guide them. It has been something I have been doing my best to focus on and make it a part of my walk with Christ. Yet here I stand on step 4 of the ladder today when reality set in for me. Sometimes it is just one word we need to hear or read that takes us back to reality. As the words of step 4 sunk in, I realized that in one of my closest, dearest relationship, I have recently struggled with this step. As much as I pray for this person and our situation, I was not being completely mindful, present and accepting where my dear friend stood. With beautiful loving intentions I was too focused on where I stood rather than where he was standing.
God created us to be relational beings. It is our human nature to love and be loved. Yet at times we want more and we want it now! We want more than anything to go down a certain path because it feels so right, it feels like it aligns so well with God’s truth and with all of our heart, mind and soul we believe it does. However, that ‘feels so right’ feeling we get makes us want to sometimes try and jump ahead too quickly. We change our focus to wanting it in our time, not His. Or worse, we try and get someone to jump ahead with us when the timing isn’t right for them. We all have our own side of the street to clean up and deal with at our own pace in our own time and with God’s grace. And as we deal with our own weaknesses it grows us in perfect love and transformation of our entire personalities.
I am thankful for finding this message today. I love Holy Spirit moments just like these! As I reflect back on this week there were other reminders pointing me to this very message. And as graceful and patient as God is with me, he just kept gently nudging me until reality set in. Earlier this week I was reminded of the message in Ecclesiastics 3, there is a time for everything on earth and everything on earth has a special season. God has an appropriate time for absolutely everything that happens here on earth at every stage of our lives and in the lives of those we care for and most dearly love. We need to be joyful, thankful and grateful for all the gifts he gives us in His timing. And although it is human nature to jump ahead – we need to be truly content – finding peace and happiness right where we are!
When you get ahead of God’s timing know that He is walking with you and understands your struggles. Allow His loving nudges to gently guide you back on the path He intended. Let the unconditional love and patience He has for you, allow you to flow that same unconditional love and patience towards those in your life that need your grace. Keeping mindful and present that we are all trying to climb that ladder of humility, one step at a time.
If you would like to learn more about Spiritual Direction and Climbing the Ladder of Humility contact me for a free consultation: 306.681.9697 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Sending you much love,