Lord God, your goodness and patience are a constant presence in my life. I confess that I do not recognize or acknowledge that presence sometimes . . . often. That, I suppose, is why I experience you so often as Patience, though I neglect to attend to you, to your wisdom, to your urging, to your pointing, to your discipline. Lord, I am even able to refuse to attended to your thundering, to your violent in-breakings into my life, to your earthquaking in my world. I can be maliciously stubborn, mulish. While you batter the world around me, even when you have battered my own soul, I have sometimes — arms crossed, feet planted, eyes shut — refused to recognize your action and moving in my life. I have persisted in believing you to be real, while yet withdrawing to a distance, cold, abstract, uninvolved.
Of course, I have scoffed at those silly deists of the past. Such inattentive, self-satisfied, self-serving folks! But how is my stubborn refusal to acknowledge your acting, active presence really any different from their deism? Isn’t it what many have called “biblical deism”?
Yet, Lord, I don’t want to wallow in my failures. I want to celebrate your reality, your truth, your very real and very active presence and my occasions of acknowledging you. I don’t want to withhold your honor, your praise, your worthiness. But by failing to acknowledge your reality and your activeness, I do all of that.
I know you are constantly acting in my life. The simple fact that I’m alive and breathing is an evidence of your active involvement. But more and more, you help me to see your hand at work. And when I see you, I am lifted up; I am re-oriented; I am sanctified.
Open my heart, so that my eyes will be opened to see you, so that my ears will be opened to hear you, so that my soul will be opened to acknowledge you.
© 2009 Gary A. Chorpenning