After Jesus ascends into heaven in the Gospels, the disciples are sent off. Not to go and do great things, but … to wait. Go and wait. Why do they have to wait?
Imagine me coming home from a run and I go and open a bottle of Poland Springs water. I tip it over to my mouth and, nothing comes out. Because the bottle is empty. And so, I start to talk to the bottle. You should be able to produce water, let’s go. You’re Poland Springs, that’s what you do. But no matter how much cajoling or coaching or animating, no matter how many times I tap on it, or threaten it, or try to entice it, and even if I throw it away, it will never be able to pour out any water. Whatever word you want to use for me in that situation, I am certainly missing the most obvious and basic reality: the bottle is empty. That’s not how it works. First, you have to fill up the bottle.
God isn’t like that with us. He doesn’t demand anything of us. He just wants to fill us up, so that we can pour out from within, in the times and ways that we’re made for. He made us and knows how the human heart works. He knows that we can’t give what we haven’t first received. And He wants to give us that first.
I think we often have that backwards in the church. The church spends time focusing on what everyone should be doing after they are filled, instead of creating the space and time for God to fill them. And when there’s time for prayer, it’s filled with recitation. There isn’t a lot of space for both speaking and listening, and learning how to receive. How to get filled up.
God is going to do great things with us. We won’t need anyone else to tell us what to do or to teach us. It will come from the inside. But that can all wait. First, we have to receive from God.
And get filled up.
What do you possess that you have not received? (1 Cor 4:7)
2 thoughts on “First Get Filled Up”
Volui te velle felicem diem festum, Deum tibi benedicere, et sanctum Hieronymum
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Muchas gracias Child of Prague. Thanks for the feast day wishes, I appreciate it. My best to M. and the kids. – Hieronymus