Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Practice Six - Entirely Ready for Change

Becoming entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character and to become a different person. -- Practice Six

Entirely ready to become a different person. Entirely ready. A different person. Remove all defects of character. To me, this practice is very closely related to my previous post on Jesus becoming enough for us. Being willing to be remade is a willingness to die, to cease to be as I currently am. It's not a denial about who I currently am, but an intention to be something else. That something else is Christ himself. I don't see this happening, biblically or from experience, without a willingness to let go of what I currently am. For those of you who have seen this kind of thing become a repressive, homogenizing reality, I am sorry for that experience, but I have no doubts that letting Jesus have free and total reign in me will do anything but make me the same as everyone else. In fact, it's the inevitable difference, uniqueness even, that I know I embody when I do this (I have done it from time to time in the past), that frequently tempts me away from being willing to do it wholeheartedly 'today'. Sometimes I don't want to be different in the way Jesus makes me.

The thing that strikes me about Christ right now is the utter inability of fear or desire to move him where it wants him to go. That is completely amazing. All desires, even for food, were subject to the desire for the Father, subject to the understanding that God was more than, or included, everything else. That is impressive. Only the Father was 'worthy' of his ultimate loyalty, reaction and obedience at any moment. (This, to me, is what actual worship is.) If I can make Christ the only one I need to please--if I could give the Father even my right to eat when I want, trusting his love, intelligence, and purposes--I would begin to get acquainted with Jesus' sufferings and his power. Peter, I believe, says, "the one who is prepared to suffer is done with sin." I can certainly see that if I'm not prepared--not willing--to lose the things that I want, to have some desires go unsatisfied, indefinitely or otherwise in favor of God, then I'm not prepared to be a exclusively loyal to Jesus. I'm not willing to be his disciple. I'm not ready to become just like my teacher. I'm not ready for real change.

But today, I am ready--in the belief that everything I need is in Christ. Thank you, Lord, for the willingness.


Anonymous said...

So how does one actually do this? I mean it sounds good and I agree we should become ready. But how is it actually done? Is it a meditation or an action?


T said...


I think the whole concept comes off a little more "on" or "off" than it actually is. The reality is that it's more of a process of growing thought and action. For me, it started with a thought that I should be content with Christ alone (in the middle of being angry about some thing that I wasn't getting). That grew into thinking about the same thing more, both when I was angry again, and when I wasn't. I also reviewed passages in Luke and Philipians that hit the same idea, and was grading papers that were full of scripture and personal reactions to those scriptures. About that time, I started to act on these ideas by letting go of my rights in these ways that had been making me angry. Now I'm "ready" to see this in a larger scale, but even that is an ongoing process of thought and action (with failure and progress).

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