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Monday, 5 March 2018

"...Share in all Good Things."

I ask for the grace to pray and meditate faithfully. I ask for patience, tolerance, compassion, and empathy. I ask to abstain from anger, anxiety, compulsive behaviour, discouragement, and self-importance. I ask to know and follow Jesus more closely, seeking justice, loving kindness, and walking humbly.

Galatians 6:1-6
6My friends, if anyone is detected in a transgression, you who have received the Spirit should restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness. Take care that you yourselves are not tempted. 2Bear one another’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfil the law of Christ. 3For if those who are nothing think they are something, they deceive themselves. 4All must test their own work; then that work, rather than their neighbour’s work, will become a cause for pride. 5For all must carry their own loads.
6 Those who are taught the word must share in all good things with their teacher.

1) "...restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness;" "...take care that you yourselves are not tempted;" "...bear one another's burdens;" "...deceive themselves;" "...all must test their own work;" "...all must carry their own loads;" "...share in all good things;"

2) He doesn't say what to do if attempts to "restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness" are thwarted. I've been taking an art class one evening a week. Last fall I loved the class. It gave me a couple hours a week to work with minimal supervision on a totally new to me skill. This season, I am enjoying the class less. The content is more challenging, and I'm not taking to it as easily. But also the classes themselves are less... peaceful. It is a different group of students. This season there is a woman in our class who talks incessantly, mostly complaining. I've changed seating so I'm not sitting next to her. But her voice still dominates the space for the full hour and a half that we are gathered. Even when we are receiving instruction, she fills the air with complaints about what the instructor is asking us to do and how he is asking us to do it. I'm feeling resentful. And I'm resentful about being resentful. I'm enjoying the classes much less between the natural challenge, and the environmental change. I just want her to stop talking and filling the air with her negativity. As I sit through the class trying to concentrate, I feel my own body generating negativity. Where's the off switch? My own as well as hers? How am I deceiving myself? I am definitely being tested in my own work.

3) What is the invitation in all this? To take care that I myself am not tempted. I feel sorrow for her, that she needs to express herself so negatively with strangers. Maybe the invitation is to pray for greater mindfulness of Christ's presence during art classes.

"God give us strength."

Breathprayer: "...share in all good things."

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