A member of my small group has been invited to Buckingham Palace since her husband is going to be knighted.
One needs to be invited to the Queen’s famous garden parties, or you will be politely, but swiftly, ejected.
You can’t invite yourself to Buckingham Palace or the White House: you must be invited!
* * *
Sometimes, especially as the days grow shorter, I wonder if I am going about the spiritual life all wrong.
I am reading Mark Batterson’s The Circle Maker. Oh wow! It’s got me re-excited about praying about every area of my life, and a bit chastened as I realized how many things in my life were vague hopes, or pipe-dreams, or “one day” desires rather than prayers I wrote down, and prayed through consistently.
And so, over the last few weeks, I have been writing down my dreams, hopes, goals and wishes and am praying circles around them.
Already, I am seeing much movement. Things I have been praying for are happening. Things are changing. I keep saying to Roy, “Wow! That’s what I’ve have been praying for.”
* * *
And then I wondered, “Oh Jesus, am I spending more time praying though my dream-list, than resting in your presence, seeking your face?”
Oh Jesus, I miss you. Am I sort of drifting away from the closeness we once shared, the harum-scarum time in your presence?
Oh Jesus, am I failing in love?
Oh Jesus. Oh Jesus!
* * *
And then I remember Buckingham Palace. Driving up there in a shiny new car, with my best dress and fascinator is not going to get me into the garden party. I have to be invited!
And I do not get intimacy with Jesus by all my spiritual disciplines, my rising early, my Bible blogging, my prayer, my lectio divina.
I don’t have to hustle for this. It is a free gift.
The spiritual life is not a ladder I need to climb. It is the descent of the dove!
So in these shortening days, when my spirits can sink, and so I need to take frequent breaks to ask his Spirit to come and fill my flagging spirit, I need to remember that it’s not my efforts at spirituality that cajole the King of Kings to let me live with him. It is his mercy.
Come, beautiful Lord Jesus. Come, Holy Spirit. Fill my heart and spirit to overflowing.