We are doing some work with our dog. Teaching her manners is the short explanation. To approach others slowly and calmly. To give them space – and choice – as to how they wish to say hello (or not). Teaching the “manners” which allow other dogs and humans the opportunity to choose. It involves a lot of saying no. We have to be very careful of what we say “no” to.
And some say we are taking our dogs’ spirit from her – an emotional castration. Whilst others agree that a dog with good manners is a very good thing.
“Jesus was praying in a certain place, and after he had finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.” He said to them, “When you pray, say: Father, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread. And forgive us our sins, for we ourselves forgive everyone indebted to us. And do not bring us to the time of trial.” “ Luke 11:1-4
The Lord’s Payers – edited version.
For a long time I have had a problem with my “emotional castration” as a Follower. This “hallowed” stuff. This “wow you are such a cool Guy” stuff. This “I am unworthy and rubbish and crap – if it wasn’t for you NO ONE would like me” stuff. This “don’t get too close – He is “GOD” you know” stuff.
All wrapped up in this “hallowed be your name” distancing worship – this praise – this adoration we are taught that we must. It is expected. It is what good Christians do.
And then this morning – quite unexpectedly – I heard that word “manners” as I was reading these verses – prompted by some others words which preceded these verses:
“What if God’s answer to one of our prayers is “no”? We are given this answer at times. Sometimes when we are told “no” we easily accept the answer we are given, because what we are asking for is something that really did not matter that much. Occasionally, though, we find ourselves being told “no” when every part of our being wants the answer to be “yes.” What happens to our relationship with God then? Does our relationship with God completely fall apart? Does our entire relationship with God depend on God answering our prayers? … We are invited into a relationship with God that trusts that our prayers are heard yet does not demand our prayers be answered. We are invited into a relationship of confidence that God can answer our prayers, yet at the same time, we are invited into a relationship that asks us for complete surrender to God’s way. The relationship we are invited into with God is not an insurance policy that guarantees we get what we want. However, we are promised that God hears us and will be with us every step of the way.”
By Becky Eldredge on dotMagis, the blog of IgnatianSpirituality.com
Manners. Giving others the space to make their own choices. Involves a lot of saying no.
My God Soft Hands Jesus has the best manners of anyone I have known. He ALWAYS waits for me, He ALWAYS gives me space, He ALWAYS allows me my own choices. He sets no pre-conditions. He allows me complete freedom of choice – always. And He allows that for each and every one of us. And HE demands nothing in return. His love is without condition. And that IS manners.
And what clicked for me this morning is this.
That showing the same respect, having the same “manners” in return is not emotional castration. It is not distancing worship … praise … adoration (unless I allow). It is simply “manners”. It is reciprocating the good manners my GSHJ shows me.
And that can be applied to the “all are sacred” reality as well. Hallowed be your name – and your name – and your name as well! Which is really cool! I am a convert!
(but which leaves me with a different discomfort)
All the “corporate” stuff – the church services and church gatherings “corporate stuff” …
Which really means the “denominational tradition” … Which really means the “habits” we do without thinking … Which is another way of saying all the “comfort zone building and maintaining” …
Which is another way of saying “this is how we have always done things … don’t mess with it … we do it this way for a reason (can anyone remember what that is?)” stuff …
Which results in “this is how we do this” stuff .
And THAT is just another “club rule”.
Is all “that” really sincere/honest “worship, adoration and praise” – or might “that” be an “emotional castration” – a form of personal circumcision – one we must each allow before being accepted into this club?
Because if it is …
Is “that” really the same “good manners” God shows us – or is “that” the complete opposite?