Wednesday July 3rd,  Galatians 5: 19-21 It is obvious what kind of life develops out of trying to get your own way all the time: repetitive, loveless, cheap sex; a stinking accumulation of mental and emotional garbage; frenzied and joyless grabs for happiness; trinket gods; magic-show religion; paranoid loneliness; cutthroat competition; all-consuming-yet-never-satisfied wants; a brutal temper; an impotence to love or be loved; divided homes and divided lives; small-minded and lopsided pursuits; the vicious habit of depersonalizing everyone into a rival; uncontrolled and uncontrollable addictions; ugly parodies of community. I could go on.  Paul, it sounds so bad when you put it that way, it sounds like the political rhetoric in the just say no to everything culture.  All I was trying to do was watch out for old number one.  Or perhaps all I was trying to do was insert myself as number one instead of holding God in my heart as number one, which is like putting a one way valve in the wrong way.  Here is the way it goes, love comes from God, if we are connected it flows through our hearts and out into the world around us.  If we try to put ourselves as number one, all we succeed in doing is stopping the flow that was meant for our heart.  Nothing good in, nothing good out.  We don’t stop God however and perhaps one time or another the network of God’s goodness flowing through others will come back upstream and flood our heart enough to prompt us to turn the valve around.  Until then we are set to suffer with who we are rather than live with who God called us to be.  But someday, someday, God will win and I just pray that you may live long enough to enjoy the process.    


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