To take a break from my usual devotional routine (if something isn't working, you should stop doing it), and in the belief that I need to read more books for spiritual development, I switched from reading Disciplines in the morning to focusing on reading Robert Schnase's
book, Five Practices for Fruitful Living
. Each morning I read a section of a chapter -- 3 or 4 pages.
This morning, the section concerned obstacles to the acceptance of God's grace into our lives. One paragraph
made me stop and go back, reading it again.
Most people are probably familiar with a series of three parables from Luke 15
-- the Parable of the Lost Sheep, the Lost Coin, and the two Lost Brothers (ie
-- the Prodigal and his brother). Schnase
took a different
look at these three parables, focusing on the why
of being lost. As I read the paragraph, I wondered about why we are sometimes lost.
- Why was the sheep lost? Did it move aimlessly from tuft of grass to tuft of grass until it found itself lost? Do we ever find ourselves lost, separated from God by our own aimless wandering?
- Why did the woman have to search so hard for the lost coin? Why was it that she had so much trouble finding what was the most valuable to her? Do we ever get lost amid our distractions and busyness? Are our lives too messy to find what is valuable?
- Why was the prodigal son lost? Did he get lost because of his disobedience? Was his "lost-ness" a function of his own self-destructive decisions? Schnase didn't mention the older son, but I think he was lost, too. Was he lost because of his own expectations of what should be happening? Did he get lost because of his own arrogance and sense of self-importance?
Why are we lost? Is it our aimlessness, our busyness, our disobedience, our arrogant sense of self or our belief in what should
be happening? What stands between us and grace, blocking the way?
Labels: Gospel, grace, Schnase Living