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Signposts: Daily Devotions

Written by Renée Miller

Saturday, April 10

When it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who was also a disciple of Jesus.
—Matthew 27:57

A life-changing spiritual practice is detachment. Detachment helps us stay in the place of contentment, and also makes it possible to liberally and unselfishly share what we have been so graciously given. As Mother Teresa of Calcutta once said, “It is taking whatever God gives and giving whatever God takes with a smile.” When we are able to exercise detachment we find our souls being rounded out. The sharp edges and points of tension are eased into proper shape and our soul breathes more deeply the air of heaven.

Detachment is a simple practice, but hardly an easy one. We are so easily attached to what we want, what we have, what we need, what we think we want or need to have in order to move forward in our lives. Detachment seems unemotional—almost a slap in the face to the glories of life. Why would anyone want to detach? Life would feel so flat, so beige. In truth, emotion is actually heightened through detachment. We are able to feel more deeply when we are not personally attached to what we have or experience.

Joseph of Arimathea was a rich man. He could have been guarded and protective regarding his wealth. Surely he, like the rest of us, was always at risk of losing those very things he held so dear. But Joseph understood detachment. He understood that what he had been given did not actually belong to him but was meant for the greater good. So, his riches didn't stand in his way spiritually. He was able to put his soul above his wealth, and in so doing, generosity grew in him.

It will be the same for us if we are willing to step back from what claims our heart or what seems like our own treasure and simply be open to the grace that is before us.

Gracious God, let my heart find its attachment in you.

These Signposts originally appeared on explorefaith in 2008.