Filling Up

I have been doing good reading lately and came across this great insight from Bernard of Clairvaux, quoted in Richard Foster’s book Prayer:

“If you are wise therefore you will show yourself a reservoir and not a canal. For a canal pours out as fast as it takes in; but a reservoir waits till it is full before it over flows, and so communicates its surplus…We have all too few such reservoirs in the Church at present, thought we have canals in plenty.”

Barrage 3

I thought back to this image of a reservoir as I was reading in Ephesians this morning, from chapter 3:18-19 where Paul prays “[that you] may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth, and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” What a great image for this prayer that we will know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that we will be filled with what we cannot possibly contain!

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Spiritualizing My Sore Knees

It has been a week since our epic hiking adventure, and I am still hobbling around with sore knees. There is no swelling, and I don’t have too much pain unless I overdo things or use stairs. I can walk from one end of the apartment to the other; I can stand and sit and carry Torre, but to actually get out and run errands or go to the park slows me down to turtle pace. I think my muscles are still in disbelief at what we did and are worried they’ll give me ideas if they just work without complaining!

I was talking to God about my sore knees and asked if there was any lesson or something I should get out of this, and it turns out there is. So here you have the spiritual lessons I am learning from this physical pain:

  1. Don’t do all your training indoors
    Here’s the thing – I’m in reasonably good shape, and it was a huge blow to my pride to be so crippled by physical activity I thought I could do. I even did a workout video the night before we left to go camping! I can climb the stairs to our apartment on the 11th floor, even carrying Torre; I can do pull-ups and push-ups and tricep dips and squats and mountain climbers, and I will hate them and sweat buckets then feel great after. But that kind of training doesn’t translate so well to the complexity of hiking through back country terrain. My knees basically died because all the little muscles that stabilize them became exhausted because they’re used to my feet landing on firm, level ground.In faith, it is just as risky to do all your spiritual training in safe, stable, controlled environments.

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Book Review: I’ve Never Been to Vegas, but My Luggage Has

“Mishaps and miracles on the road to happily ever after” aptly sums up the plot and message of this book by blogger and author Mandy Hale. Mandy chronicles the ups, downs and loop-de-loops of her life from high school into her thirties with candour and sass. Ultimately her story shows that it is possible to find happiness even if all your original expectations for life go unmet, and I really enjoyed reading this account of a woman finding her identity in God, not in a career or romantic relationship.

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