When You’re Lifting Above Your Weight In Your Spiritual Life

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I had a friend tell me they don’t feel like they’re doing enough in their prayers for a deceased loved one. I have often felt the same over the years, it’s the human condition. The reason for this feeling is because society has taught us that if we are not living up to certain expectations we are supposed to feel unhappy. Feeling like you’re not doing enough is a good feeling as it can keep you on your toes. But hitting yourself over the head for it is not a good feeling and hardly what God wants of you.

The idea that we are not doing enough and upset at not reaching a particular impossible target is something of the world not the Holy Spirit. Those of us with a lot of pride in us have yet to realize this and put it into practice. The humble admit their weakness that they’re not doing enough. Instead of beating themselves over the head with sadness about not reaching ones target, they hand it to Christ. The reason why we are not reaching the target is because due to pride, we are relying on our own power to get there instead of the power of Gods grace.

There is also the danger of a person spiritually and physically burning themselves out with too much time spent in devotional prayer. Prayer is more than being on ones knees all day. To pray unceasingly one has to enter into a unified state with God where the virtues are active in every task they do. This could be the laundry, driving or having fun with your favourite hobby. In every situation your mind is on God and your soul is alive and active being unified with his.

Devotional prayer is nice but done without love and with ones mind on the cares of tomorrow, it’s useless too. You are not required to climb great mountains only do what you can, and let God do the rest. God is much more simple than we think. Consider the following story but don’t analyze it with a theological intellectual mind and look for faults in theology. Simply get the gist of what I’m saying.

Three men are stranded on an island. They’ve never seen another human being, but they know who the Holy Trinity is. The Bishop comes along in a boat as a mission to the three men. Upon exiting the boat the three men on the shore approach him. Through conversation the Bishop realizes that they know who the Holy Trinity is but the only prayer they knew was, “We are three, you are three, Amen”. “Oh dear”, the Bishop thought to himself, “This is the only prayer they know, I must teach them another”. The Bishop spent the afternoon teaching them the Lords prayer.

He left the island in the boat and decided he’d come back for review. The next week he returned in the boat. As he approached the island the three men came walking towards him. They were walking on the water. The Bishop was so shocked at the sight and was filled with fright. As they waved at him they shouted, “Hey, your Grace, we forgot that prayer you taught us, could you teach us again?”

You see? They only knew one prayer, lived a life of virtue, grace, and that was sufficient for them. God does not require we lift a weight we are not capable of. If we ever find ourselves in a position where we are presented with a task beyond our means then having the humility to hand it over to the Lord is important.

Have you ever looked at the mountain peak instead of the road that leads to it and felt overwhelmed? Let us know in the comments.

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