Once again, I'm unsure for what I should be asking, which is probably indicative of needing more time in silence. I have a task today that I feel unsure about, a relationship where there is pain and discomfort and I expect we are both avoiding conflict and trying to keep peace. I ask for guidance and to trust what I don't know and to be open to affirming opportunities when they present themselves. I ask for the grace to stay close to Christ as I walk a difficult path, to seek justice, love kindness and walk humbly... for both of us, and the community we seek to serve.
17 But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, a wild olive shoot, were grafted in their place to share the rich root* of the olive tree, 18do not vaunt yourselves over the branches. If you do vaunt yourselves, remember that it is not you that support the root, but the root that supports you. 19You will say, ‘Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in.’ 20That is true. They were broken off because of their unbelief, but you stand only through faith. So do not become proud, but stand in awe.
1) "...a wild olive shoot;" "...the rich root of the olive tree;" "...the root... supports you;" "...you stand only through faith;" "...do not become proud, stand in awe;" "...stand in awe;"
2) Okay, this little passage delights me. I love the image of "a wild olive shoot." I also hear the instruction to "not become proud, but stand in awe." I wish it were as easy as deciding to stand in awe. I agree. I'm am much more responsive in any situation if I am in a state of awe. But it is so easy to be pulled out of "awe" and think I know better, or to be offended, or hurt, or to take someone else's incompetence personally, or to get frustrated. It is too easy to "vaunt" myself "over the branches."
3) What is the invitation in all this? To stand in awe. Maybe spend some time remembering what it might feel like to be a wild olive shoot grafted to a rich root. Funny, just this morning I was observing the shoots that need to be pruned on the Japanese maples in front of the condo.
"Holy One, increase in me awe and wonder. Keep me mindful that I am a wild olive shoot grafted to a strong root only through faith."
Breathprayer: "a wild olive shoot... only through faith."