Today, we move from the accounts of the conversations with Brother Lawrence to the letters, actually penned by him. I wonder what your reaction is to the statement made right up front that Br. Lawrence would not be motivated to write these letters if they should be shared with anyone other than the one to whom he was writing. And yet, here we are, reading them 350 years later because they were shared and compiled into a book. That said, the following passage really got my attention as I was meditating on it today.
Having found in many books different methods of going to God, and divsers[e] practices of the spiritual life, I thought this would serve rather to puzzle me, than facilitate what I sought after, which was nothing but how to become wholly God's.
When was the last time that you into a bookstore and took a look around the "Christian" or "religion" section? Better yet, when was the last time that you went into a "Christian" bookstore? The sheer amount and variety of the selection can be overwhelming! There are so many people that have written book after book about the next best way to grow in your relationship with God, the next best way to learn to pray, 3 easy steps to become a mature follower of Christ, 5 steps to get rid of anger in your life, a simple plan for financial freedom, meditation for dummies . . . you get the point.
I love Br. Lawrence's take on this (and I'm sure we have immensely more resources available today than he did in his day). He says essentially, "I've looked all these ways and got overwhelmed. I tried to weigh them out and got confused." Who couldn't identify with that? So what does he do? "...I renounced, for the love of Him, everything that was not He." I love the simplicity of devotion and faith. Maybe we make the spiritual life too complicated. Maybe we are looking for the easy fix, the quick 3 steps, the secret formula. Maybe Br. Lawrence is onto it - renounce everything that is not God. Maybe it's not a secret formula at all. The Apostle Paul said it well in his letter the church at Corinth: "I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified" (1 Corinthians 2:2).
We can spend our days running from one practice to another, but real spiritual growth and maturity may very well come in our ability to push into the background of our life everything that is not God and seeing everything we do/have/say as an extension of our spiritual life and development.
Ecclesia Writer's Consortium
We are blessed at Ecclesia to have a number of gifted writers and teachers. Here, you'll find devotions, meditations, and musings from a sample of those writers.