Friday, June 27, 2014

Devotional 6-26-14

This was submitted as a possible extra to use during Lent, but I think it applies all year 'round.  
This was the devotional for Sunday in the Guidepost. I thought it fit right in with several things we've been talking about over the last few weeks. I think I'm going to try to do this for Lent. See what you think. 
If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion is vain.
--James 1:26 (KJV)
When I was in my twenties, I started going to the opera. An enthusiastic novice, I'd walk joyfully to the lobby for intermission, only to hear the dismissive remarks of the jaded veterans. A fine performance by Pavarotti? "He has no squillo. You really should have heard Corelli in that part." An incredible high note from Joan Sutherland? "Too bad you couldn't have heard her twenty years ago" I'd go back to my seat for the second act, regretting that I wasn't twenty years older rather than enjoying the singing that night.

I've tried, with diminishing success as I've grown older, to be less of a curmudgeon. But the place I've failed utterly has been church. Walking home on Sunday mornings, I've related a litany of complaints, "The music here is terrible. Do you remember the choir at St. So-and- So's?"

"There was no meat in that sermon. Father X was so much more thoughtful."

"Did you see the sneakers the alter server was wearing?

We'd never have let that pass at St. Thingummy's"

Finally, my wife, Julia, had enough. "What are you doing for Lent?" she asked.

"Giving up peanut butter, like always," I answered.

"How about giving up all that negativity?"

So I tried. Sometimes I'd just keep quiet. Sometimes I'd catch myself mid-complaint. Sometimes I'd even say something positive ! And you know what? I found myself praying rather than looking for things I didn't like. After all, I was there for God's sake, not my own. You know what else? This Lent I'm going to find something good to say every Sunday.
Lord, keep my attention where it really belongs- on You.

Written by Andrew Attaway
Submitted by Debbie McGinnis

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