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Monday, April 4, 2011

An empty and transparent vessel….

He Treats Me to a Feast; Notes from my Abundant Life

An empty and transparent vessel….

I myself do nothing. The Holy Spirit accomplishes all through me.
William Blake

Those who cleanse themselves from the latter will be instruments for special purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work.
2 Timothy 2:21 NIV

During morning yoga, I realized I want to be a glass vase.  I promise I haven’t lost my mind.  It was actually my prayer, “Lord, let me be a clear and transparent vessel.” 

One of the personal advantages of working out is that I use the time to worship.  I don’t make enough time for prayer and study, so I have given myself permission, during yoga, dance warm ups and cool downs, and all of my runs, to pray and be open. During a particularly intense yoga phrase (where I often find myself praying, even if it’s only “Oh, Lord, help me hold it….) as I sought to master my body and still myself, I asked God, repeatedly, to make me empty and transparent.  The image was a vase.  Not crystal, not cut or colored glass, but a simple, empty container for His use, to confirm to any who might see that I am nothing. 

I have no self-esteem problem.  When I say “I am nothing”, it is a celebration.  It is a release.  I have learned, through every trial and challenge, that the most powerful action I can take is surrender.  Reading a couple days ago, I came across William Blake’s powerful acknowledgement, “I myself do nothing. The Holy Spirit accomplishes all through me.”  That’s it.  The best I can do is to get out of the way, at least to the extent that I feel any need to be in control.  I myself do nothing.  Doing nothing? What would that really mean?

It means that I will work on being that vessel.  The one with no decoration, which does not obscure the beauty of that which it holds.  The one who virtually disappears, to avoid being ugly or garish, unkind or distracting.  The one who fervently prays to be deemed serviceable, so that whether or not I am planning, whether or not I have prepared in any special way, I can be pressed into service. 

Imagine being used by God. Would you be ready? Here’s the lesson.  Anyone can be that vessel.  You don’t need to be perfect, you don’t need to be anything, but available.  Are you available? I’m going to try to be.  I already know I won’t consistently be good at it, but I pledge to try.  It should be easy, right? Do nothing, present yourself? Okay, God, I’m leaving this to you.  I have done what I could; I’m promising to show up.  The rest is up to You. And while there is so much at which I feel less than prepared, I may excel at this by doing nothing. That I can do. Nothing? What a blessing.  Further evidence that God is Good. 

OneWord 2015

OneWord 2015

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