Inside I have to laugh at my friends who think it would be so hard to guide them through a Bible Study. They think they are unherdable (I like this new word), but considering the group I herd at work everyday, they are nothing (actually they are everything). No, this is not what I need. I do not desire keeping them "on topic" for I learn so much more to let them flow freely. Would I have learned as much about science fiction writers and their books on theology if I had spent the energy reigning them in to the topic? I don't think so or as one would say... Hell to the no! Is that what you say?
The topic was the Lord's Prayer. So I look at the clock and skip to the end, for I want to get their take on avoiding evil and/or the evil one. Since they want brief statements about the prayer---- an earlier reading annoyed two of the three greatly for being too long of an extensive to the Lord's prayer, and ironically sent both into much longer ramblings both on and off topic.
... so I tell them this, which the retreat leader had said last week at Wernersville,
"The goal of the evil one is to make us doubt that God loves us, and/or that we love God. It is that simple."
I think about all those years of not believing and how those thoughts keep flowing back.... "Only fools and stupid people could believe in God," the evil one whispers into my head many a week at church. Thank God for hymns and friends passing peace to fill me with the spirit to fight it off. But I want to be rid of these thoughts so I linger and ramble on when I pray these days.
Yes, I will take that opening to the prayer and sit with it and pray for God's kingdom to flow onto the Earth. I want to demand that the world is filled with peace and joy and hope and justice and love. I don't want to fly into the daily bread. I want to linger with my hope that I can be part of helping God's kingdom prosper. I want to be awed by a God that is capable of this and praise the God of all of us for it. I am in no hurry to get to the forgiveness bit. I will stop there too. But first, I want God and myself be real clear why I want to be fed, why I want to be forgiven, why I want to forgive others, and why I do not want to be led away from God. I need this and so I sit and shout silently to the Lord. "I want to be part of your unfolding creation, please, please give me the wisdom to see it and respond in a way that creates your Kingdom..."
I let my friend's ramble on and that is OK because... for until they comment here, but only until then... I have the final word.