Excursus on Falling into the Hands of a Loving God

Unlike my Protestant forefathers who emphasized “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God,”[1] this morning I fell, or rather threw myself into the hands of a Loving God.  It was one of those mornings when my mind was flitting from pillar to post, completely untethered, the extreme opposite of the recollected contemplative state in which it would seem best to be during prayer….and I fought and I tussled and I berated myself for being so ornery and unholy and discombobulated and completely without focus on God.  Indeed, every time I caught myself and tried to bring myself back to even getting through the “Our Father” while thinking about what I was saying, poof, I would be off on one tangent or other, a million miles from what I intended to do.  Praying the rosary was even more disconcerting, when one finds oneself contemplating the majestic sunrisen clouds trimmed in gold, how did He get that blue, and, isn’t it amazing that some artists can actually capture that glorious array and it must take a long time to paint such a sky and,…and…, and…when one is suppose to be concentrating on the mystery at hand…or worse, figuring out how we’re going to get the AC into the car, or neither or both…ah, it was a jolly ride with nothing at all to do with God.  But I did keep coming back to the prayer at hand, which by many spiritual writers, seems to be the point, God extols the effort, not result, it’s one of those “do what you can and leave the results to God” things…

And finally I just gave up fighting.  I told God: “As you have pointed out, I can do nothing good on my own.  I give up.  I submit.  I can’t do it and, not only can’t I do it and realize I can’t do it, I accept the fact that I can’t do it.  Only You can do it.  So do it.”  And he did.  All of a sudden the turmoil of my mind, even the turmoil of the world seemed to be streaming and swirling about over my head, while I was safely ensconced in a groove, a rut, perhaps, tootling along, one Hail Mary after another, happy as a lark, and completely relaxed and at peace.  I was letting God after I had let go.  Thus, I fell, or rather dumped myself, into the hands of a very loving and very comfortable God.  Amen.  Alleluia!!!

[1] Jonathan Edwards, July 8, 1741 in Enfield, Connecticut.

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