Sunday, June 12, 2011

Nugget from William J. O'Malley

This morning one book's spine seemed to jump out at me from the stacks of books at bedside.  The book, God: The Oldest Question, by William J. O'Malley, S.J., is one I haven't touched in three or four years.  (This inference is based on the convenience store receipt with which it was bookmarked.  I wonder if I really needed that York Peppermint Pattie...or if I managed to give the second one to my wife, as I hope I did.  Anyway.)

As I skimmed O'Malley's wonderful book this morning, I came across this line, which for some reason I neglected to place an X next to the last time I encountered it.  I'll make up for that here on the Net.
"If the gospel doesn't unnerve you, it's quite likely that you've never really heard it."
Never really heard it.  Heard it, yes, but without hearing it.  Heard the words of the gospel read aloud, yes; read the words with my own eyes, yes.

But have I taken it to heart?  Lived it out in a pervasive, transformative, rubber-meets-the-road way?  Allowed myself to see how far I am from the mark of God's generosity?

Hmmm.  Well now.  Not so much.  Which leaves me thinking:  I have plenty of road still to cover.  And no footsteps to waste.  I need to start listening to the gospel for real and living it like I mean it.  All along the walk. More kindness.  More benefit of the doubt.  A quieter voice except when loudness is truly needed.  Less attention to things, more attention to people.  More humility, less pride.  A greater awareness that the present moment matters, even as I realize that this will all pass away--especially the individual moments in which I might, somehow, learn how to be a Christian..  And, along with that, I need to give myself permission to be unnerved by all that God calls each of us to, and unnerved by the sweep and depth of God's love as well.

Yes, I truly do need to hear the gospel.


shadowlands said...

' I have plenty of road still to cover. And no footsteps to waste.'

I can so... identify with that!

Bee's Blog said...

I think we all have plenty of road to cover no matter wh0o we are. Quite frightening really!