Martha's Offerings   Hospitality

Part of praying is like any hospitality - you have to spend a bit of time making things right for your guest.

Jesus is someone who takes you as He finds you - you don’t have to put on any airs and graces for Him - just as well, really..

But - once in a while - you do have to stop and give Him - and yourself time to settle down - and this is where things get difficult.

The minute you sit down and think about giving Jesus a bit of time - you immediately think of a thousand and one other things you should be doing.

If you manage to hold out against that - then in comes the guilt - about not doing the one thousand and one things that you should have been doing...

The person who comes up with a solution to this that works for everyone will make a fortune - except that the solution seems to lie in being in heaven - a state of eternal rest and life to which we can all look forward - but which is not really within our grasp just yet!

So - this idea of spending quality-time with Jesus is already posing its problems!

How do we do it - and not find ourselves thinking and fretting about something else?

The answer is - we don’t!

One of the very best kept secrets about prayer is that nobody - absolutely nobody can pray without distraction (save those who are enjoying eternal rest - etc - see above...)

This is true - and comes as a shock to many.

Even Mary must have had to give way to certain distractions sometime if you think about it!

Any great saint - who you’d think could pray without any distraction whatsoever - would admit to considerable aggravation. There were the odd ones - as in being exceptions, not just "odd" - who could go off into raptures that lasted for days on end - leaving the other several hundred thousand million of us thinking that the chance would be a fine thing!

Distraction - bother - and that awfully convincing feeling that you really should be doing something else are, therefore, absolutely normal. If you don’t get them - then count yourself very lucky (and maybe spend some of your undistracted prayer-time praying for the rest of us!!)


Drinking from the Wellspring

Take some time out to do an experiment.

First stage:
Settle yourself down with a cup of coffee - tea - or glass of something - and have a piece of paper to hand.
Enjoy the moment - and jot down any thoughts and feelings that pop to mind. You can sketch them if that suits you better...

Second stage - not straight after the first...
Settle yourself down with a cup of coffee - tea - glass of something - and have a piece of paper close to hand.
This time, tell yourself that this is prayer-time - devoted to thoughts of God - and only of God.

Jot down any thoughts - feelings - ideas that pop to mind.

Compare your lists...

Do your lists offer any insights into what Martha was talking about?

1999 Wellspring


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