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Signposts: Daily Devotions

Sunday, March 7

See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God; and that is what we are.
—1 John 3:1

The Gospel tells us that we are God's children, happily and utterly beloved of God and happily and utterly dependent upon God. Literally a child who lives by grace and in grace. And grace is given, as a gift, freely given. So the critical virtue for us is our ability to receive. Spiritual Director Gale Webbe was fond of saying, "The spiritual life is one of letting God come in and flow through."

It's not like that in the world of culture that raises us. In the natural world we make progress, we adapt successfully, we survive and arrive by being competitive. And if you don't succeed, you at least try hard, and go down fighting. The world's mantra is: "Get power. And after you've gotten it, hold on to it tightly."

Most of us live stretched between these two worlds. We want to give up and trust God, yet we struggle to make and defend our place.

There is a way to lay one's self aside and step freely back into the Garden of Eden. "To have pleasure in everything and seek pleasure in nothing," says John of the Cross. "As having nothing, and yet possessing all things," says St. Paul. "The things of the world are for our use, not for our enjoyment," says St. Augustine. "That which is for our enjoyment is the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit."

Tilden Edwards captures it perfectly. In Living Simply Through the Day, he describes five responses on seeing a flower:

* So?

* Oh, beautiful—I can sell it!

* Oh, beautiful—I want it; I will take it!

* Oh, beautiful. I want it—but I will let it be!

* Ah!

Let your grace flow through me so freely that I may experience all as gift and to enjoy everything with awe, through your Spirit. Amen.

These Signposts originally appeared on explorefaith in 2007.