I purchased a devotional through Amazon.com titled Reflections for Ragamuffins by Brennan Manning. I'm enjoying it immensely. It has already taught me something about myself; I am exceedingly self serving.
I recognized this trait this morning at about 5:42 am. Having been woke by my cat of 15 years, Winter, my mind went straight to the devotional. Well to be honest it went to "I still have two hours to sleep-frickin sweet!" but I shrugged that off for a higher calling. Normally I don't get to my devotional till, well, whenever. However, God wanted to be first in my day and so He was.
Plopping down on the couch I opened up today's devotional and read. I read and read and eventually finished and upon reflection thought to myself, "huh." I wasn't altogether inspired. I regretted not slumping straight back to bed after attending to Winter. Certainly what I read could have waited. In my heart i blamed the author for not being more eloquent, I was suddenly mad at my cat for meowing me to consciousness, I guess in a way I even felt let down by God for it. But they weren't the problem.
The problem was the devotional alright; that it had very little to do with what I want and everything to do with wanting what God wants. And for me there is a wall there. I know because I built it. I don't want to be reminded that God and I are not always on the same page concerning my life and how it is spent. I want warm fuzzies. There I admit it. I want warm fuzzies and to be told I'm awesome and to feel encouraged and to be reaffirmed that God loves me soooooooooooooooooooooooooo much. Because I need that. I need a lot of that.
And in a way the devotional did tell me this. It was about our closeness with God. But closeness via obedience. Yep. Obedience. God does not require us to do anything to earn our salvation, but as any parent raising his kid right, he does expect obedience. And the truth is in obedience we can experience a closeness to God indescribable.