Do you remember hearing, “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all”? That might work when trying to keep peace among siblings, but not so much if you trying to be transparent with God.
In 1994 I recorded, “Bob insists I should write during the uglies. I did some – but he means put it all down – in detail, even violent detail. I find that abhorrent to my soul. I want to write helpful, pleasant pretty things. It seems a violation of the gift to record the ugly, the crude, the ungodly AND YET there is healing and wholeness to be found in the process of forming words, sentences, phrases.
“Bob is talking about something bigger than the 3 page Artist Way obligation. He is talking about writing as a form of reflection/self examination/therapy. My Franciscan rule of life does state I will have some form of daily self examen, but I don’t always do that. I hardly ever do that at the end of the day when it would do me so much good and be so easy to recall. Could this be the time to finally begin Molly Lin? Huh? Finally?!”
Now zoom to 2021. With the chronic pain of fibromyalgia and inherent fatigue from it I have never kept that evening appointment, journaling or not. Although I have allowed myself to journal ugly things since then. Mom never said, “Stay transparent with God.” This seems to be the most important thing in my life now.
Years ago touring West Virginia and Ohio glass factories we found this art piece. It expresses my desire to remain transparent to God. Yes, I know God is omnipotent and has vision to easily view our inner thoughts and intentions. I am talking about my effort to remain unhindered in my approach to Him. Ever since the Garden we all tend to try to hide things from God, though that is impossible.
Acts 3:19-20a calls us to “Repent therefore, and turn to God so that your sins may be wiped out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord”
It was D.L. Moody who famously said, “Keep short accounts with God.” In that one statement is the secret to daily victory and spiritual power. Sin piles up so quickly. Unconfessed and unforsaken sin is the cause of broken fellowship with God and brokenness in so many areas of our lives. It is a cancer.https://scottpauley.wordpress.com/category/personal-growth/
Short accounts, clean slate, nothing in my own sin ignored. D. L. Moody also said he was so busy with himself there was no time left to accuse others.
Whether time is spent in examination and confession in the morning, in the evening, regardless of time slot, keep current with the Lord. A short list. Daily self examination of your heart, mind, soul.
The contemporary protestant church seems to have reduced this to a minute or two at the most before partaking of communion. I believe the Word and the Spirit call us to more than that. Transparency with Christ. On the journal page, in prayer, making a space to examine our lives and confess our failings, the uglies that we are responsible for, knowing that 1 John 1:9 is true.
If we confess our sins, He who is faithful and just will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.1 John 1:9 NRSV
Cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Times of refreshing from the presence of the Lord. Sounds terrific, doesn’t it? Yet, no one can do it for us. We must each undertake this, not as self condemnation or unrelentless castigation. A time of confession, determining to turn and go a different way with help from God. Starting over. As the Benedictine’s say “Always we begin again.” Each time we swing less far on the pendulum of sin and error, making progress through repentance towards newness of life.
Keep a short account. Stay transparent with God.
Who may ascend the mountain of the Lord?Psalm 24:3-4 NIV
Who may stand in his holy place?
The one who has clean hands and a pure heart,
who does not trust in an idol
or swear by a false god.
Clean hands. Pure heart. Short list.