Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Living Word

"Let us not grow tired of doing good, for in due time we shall reap our harvest,if we do not give up." Gal. 6:9

Scripture like this has always made a great impact in my little world.
It has not been by huge thunderbolts from the heavens. Nor has it been by God directly speaking to me and striking me with blindness like He did for Saul.

When God breathed the sacred Scriptures into the hearts and minds of His writers, He left His Word to help guide and direct His faithful, His followers, even a brace-faced 14-year-old like I was at the time I first encountered this verse. I was starting my freshman year of cross country and was overwhelmed with nerves. There was a lot of hope and expectation surrounding my high school running debut. Subsequently, I was drowning amidst the pressure, particularly that which I was placing on myself.

We had run the first meet and I had buckled. What had gone so well in practice had fallen apart in the invitational. My two comrades had finished more than a minute ahead of me and I had lost all confidence in myself as a competitor. The days following the meet were dismal. I was wrought with teenage woes and poor self-esteem; it was likely a repeat performance was in the works for the following weekend.

Enter God's Word, delivered by an unlikely messenger for a young teen: my dad. I awoke early one morning for school to the soft glow of the loft light and my dad faithfully doing his morning devotions. He mentioned he had found a great verse for meditation, particularly in the midst of my running strife--"Let us not grow tired of doing good, for in due time we shall reap our harvest, if we do not give up." Gal. 6:9 At the time, my teenage mind interpreted the scripture to mean I needed to have hope, keep trying, and that God would determine the rest. Along with it I gleaned a sense of peace that God was with me throughout my trial and would reward me at the appropriate time. God had given me gifts and talents and I needed to nurture them and cultivate them in order to reap their fruit later on. It was just the motivation I needed.

Today I am equally as encouraged when I take time to meditate on this verse. It reminds me to press on and continue to carry my crosses. It says that I will "reap" at the proper time, but that I must also invest and work and strive to attain all that God has laid out for me in my future. It also assures that a proper harvest is necessary to achieve--I need to be willing to contribute sweat and work to the reaping. I cannot be idle, but active. I may not see immediate results, but God has promised His Glory because I am His child.

I am also reminded that the sacred Scriptures were written to guide and direct me all of my life. I need to dip into this precious wellspring so much more than I normally do. God has provided His Word for us here on earth. I am mistaken to forget it's there. And while I hate to admit it, as a Catholic I often do. I am surrounded by scripture at Mass, while praying the Rosary, in reciting prayers throughout the day, but I often don't reference the Bible directly. This is my own fault. The Church encourages me to do so:
And such is the force and power of the Word of God that it can serve the Church as her support and vigor and the children of the Church as strength for their faith, food for the soul, and a pure and lasting font of spiritual life" (131)

It reassures the Bible is God-inspired (106) and affirmed by the Holy Spirit (107). The Catechism also provides direction for how to best read and interpret it (110-114). I need to take on this challenge more.

I am also convicted of the need to show my children the Word more readily. Our family Bible sits prettily white and gold on our bookshelf. Along with our Catechism, it should be scuffed and ruffled and referenced on a daily basis; it should a guide in our happy times, our feuds, our children's discipline. Perhaps a family Bible verse committed to memory is a way for us to incorporate Christ more into our daily prayers.

Is your Bible gathering dust like mine?
My goal is to crack the good Book and share its fruits here at BC more often. You can hold me to it!


Carolina Girl said...

Yes! Exactly! This is partly what I was trying to get at in my 7X7 post. But, I have a very hard time getting the words out in the awesome way that you do! Thanks!!:)

Right Said Red said...

Great post B-mama. For many of the same reasons, I have been inspired to read more Scott Hahn. The man is a walking Bible genius--and he has put out some great Bible Commentaries. I highly recommend them!

texas mommy said...

Great sentiments, B-Mama! I am very encouraged by your humility and commitment!

I'll plug the Navarre bible (or any of the books) with commentary, too.

Stina said...

Thank you for pointing out this verse today. It is turning a light on for me, both in regards to the volleyball girls I am coaching, and more importantly, raising my own children. Much needed on a day like today!

Red~Definitely agree with you about Scott Hahn. I also feel the same way about his wife, Kimberly. I really enjoyed hearing her speak once, and I felt like EVERYTHING she talked about she backed up with Scripture.

JesusThroughMary said...

Speaking of geniuses:

Molly said...

I totally agree with you ladies. We're trying to find a better scripture reading routine. I think next we'll try your father's tack, B-Mama, and do it in the morning--nighttime usually ends up in us being too sleepy to fully consider the readings. Thanks for the thoughts!

Mary Alice said...

I do my daily devotional time when the kids have their quiet time, so they don't really see me read the gospel or pray. I have tried to encourage the older ones to use some of their quiet time for prayer and spiritual reading, but I have gotten some push back on this, I wonder if any of you have advice?

For family devotions, we have been reading a book of bible lessons and making an outline of salvation history, that has been great this summer. We do it either right after breakfast or right after dinner -- sometimes while the kids have a cookie. We also read a great book, Devotional Stories for Little Folks from Catholic Heritage Curricula. This book is about a very real homeschooling family and it has been very inspirational for all of us -- especially me!