General Minister and President Terri Hord Owens calls on Disciples to add spiritual disciplines to their Lenten practice and shares a reading from Black theologian and mystic, Howard Thurman entitled The Sustainer of Life.
Hello, Disciples. We’re now in the season of Lent, a time of reflection and dedication for many of us. We are used to the tradition of giving something up, but I want to encourage you to add something to your spiritual practice. It could
be to recommit yourself to prayer or bible study, to make time for meditation, to reading something that will feed your spirit, to making more time in your day for personal devotion and time with God.
During the month of February, Black History Month, I’ve been sharing on my personal Facebook page a reflection from Howard Thurman, the Black theologian and mystic,
who loved spending time with God. And so today, as we begin and complete the
first week of Lent, I wanted to share one of his meditations called, The Sustainer
of Life. Hear the words of Howard Thurman, and as you listen, please know that I am honoring the request of the estate of Howard Thurman to use his original language, which may include masculine language and pronouns.
The Sustainer of Life.
It is of enormous reassurance to us, O Father, that thou art the sustainer and the holder of life. That despite all of our own limitations and attitudes, despite all our weaknesses and failures, despite all of the soarings of our minds and imaginations and our spirits, always we come back to the deep assurance that thou art the sustainer of life, the holder of all creation, and the guarantor of all our values.
This is of such overwhelming reassurance to us that we celebrate in simple words of praise this almighty grace. We offer, on our part, not merely the good deeds of which we are aware, at times not merely the concerns for our fellows which simply lead us to simple deeds or glorious acts of self-sacrifice, but we offer thee these things that we might become all of the possibilities of our lives. The potential is not yet realized. We offer to thee our failures, also those times when something breaks down and we do not know what or when something breaks down and we do know what. All that we might have been at a particular time and were not, all of the sense of conscience that disturbs, and whips, and tortures because we have not been in quality and in kind what we knew at the time we could have been in quality and kind. And beyond all those expressions of ourselves, our Father, we offer to thee ourselves.
This is what we want to do and sometimes we are able to do it, just to say to the
Father, here am I. My life as it is at its depth, I give to thee and I want thee to hold it so that it is no longer my life to do with in accordance to my whims, my impulses, my desires, or even my needs, but to take my life and to hold it until it takes on thy character, thy mind, thy purposes. If thou wilt do this and if thou wilt help me to do, this
then I can be, in myself, what is truest and surest in me and this, O God, is all, all, all.