Oh, Chosen One

Russian Icon of the Prophet Isaiah--Wikipedia Labeled for noncommercial reuse.

Russian Icon of the Prophet Isaiah–Wikipedia, labeled for noncommercial reuse.

This morning, my reading took me to the second book of Isaiah, known as The Book of Consolation in my translation. I never tire of reading this, the voice of God through his prophet reminding me over and over again that, in spite of myself, God continues to choose me.

I’m revisiting a book that I read years ago,

Prayer and Temperament: Different Prayer Forms for Different Personality Types by Chester Michael and Marie Norrisey

that helps us explore avenues of prayer suited to one’s personality type as defined by the Myers-Briggs. For people like me who can’t exist without time for prayer and quiet (Intuitive, Feeling) one prayer form that the authors recommend is Lectio Divino (Divine Reading), that is reading and entering into dialogue with God about what one has read. They suggest when reading Second Isaiah, to insert your own name whenever God is addressing Israel.

Check out these verses, for example. I will leave a blank, for you to substitute your name:

“But now, thus says the Lord,
who created you, ________, and formed you, _______:
do not fear for I have called you by name.
You are mine.” Is. 43: 1

“Hear then, ________, my servant,
_________, whom I have chosen.
Thus says the Lord, who made you,
your help, who formed you from the womb:
Do not fear, __________, my servant,
____________, whom I have chosen.” Is. 44: 1-2

This is what it is all about, isn’t it? Bringing home scripture, making it alive today in our own experience. Remembering that we are God’s chosen and he is speaking to us. Divine reading, indeed!

If you have never taken the Myers-Briggs Personality Assessment, may I suggest this book, a simple test and analysis of all 16 temperaments…helpful not only for prayer, but also in understanding personal relationships. My husband and I are the exact opposites on one another–complementary and challenging! (Click on the book titles to access these books on Amazon).

Please Understand Me: Character and Temperament Types Paperback by David Keirsey and Marilyn Bates

By the way, for the fiction writers among you, this is the book I use to help me to develop characters who are consistent, but who will also throw in an occasional surprise by acting out of character.

Prayer and the “Me-Factor”

Photo: achurchoflivinghope.com

Photo: achurchoflivinghope.com

I’ve been noticing something lately when praying or even reading scripture. It’s really hard to take self out of it. Even in psalms of praise and thanksgiving, it seems that there’s a little hitch--“Oh God, you are great and wonderful…and in the meantime, would you bash my enemies’ heads on the rocks.” (my paraphrase, which is a bit exaggerated.)

I like to start my daily quiet time with the prayer to the Holy Spirit that was the first post on this blog, I believe. But lately I’ve noticed it’s definitely a Gimme-Prayer: Give me stillness…give me calm…give me the joy of your forgiveness…give me faith and hope and love and on and on. Now, don’t get me wrong…these are not bad things, but still, it seems to be all about me and my Me-Motives.

But then I stopped to think. I drive my husband, David, a bit crazy because it is so darn hard for me to ask him to help me with something or to ask him do something for me. I want to be self-sufficient, independent. It’s pride. isn’t it?! Especially since if he doesn’t happen to notice or guess that I would like his help, I get so easily miffed.

And isn’t that how it is with love, with Love that is God? I have to believe that God is happy for us to come to him in need. Sure, he wants us to express our love, our praise, our thanksgiving–those more unselfish aspects of worship. But also waits for us to come to him for forgiveness, for help. (more on that in another post)

It’s a matter of balance, as are so many things in life. The psalmist had it right, after all–though I’m not so sure about bashing those heads on rocks.

Image: Howard Carter

Image: Howard Carter

Constant Contact

Zoe Photo: D Slotto

Zoe
Photo: D Slotto

In the past couple of weeks, I’ve had the opportunity to don, once again, my nursing persona. My husband has had major surgery that leaves him in need of pretty constant attention–ergo, the scarcity with which I’ve been present in the blogosphere.

My responsibilities include our dogs–that means 3-4 walks daily as our home borders on a golf course without a yard. Zoe, a Jack Russell mix, is deaf, and true to the spirit of her breed, excitable (understatement). That gives me a lot of opportunity to practice patience–not exactly my forte.

A while back, I began asking for help during my morning prayer time, and sometimes more often. To some extent it helped. At first it seemed like she ignored joggers and golf carts and other distractions that typically set her off or even that these kinds of events diminished in number. But was short-lived. The reality is, being deaf, she startles easily and is afraid. So I pick her up and hold her close.

A couple of days ago, I happened to view an ad for the social media website, Constant Contact. That was when I realized that a quick prayer in the morning isn’t going to cut it, but rather, I need to maintain a constant contact with the Source of strength. Not only that,  it’s not about Zoe and her overreaction, but about me and my  learning and accepting the gift of patience in such situations.

I’ve got a long way to go–both in terms of patience and in remembering to ask for that help, to plug into the Divine Healer, in order to become all He wants me to be. Oh, and that Constant Contact applies to so much more than this tiny problem.

Image: bridgepointchurch.org

Image: bridgepointchurch.org