Monday, September 27, 2010

The Noise of a Fly

The following is excerpted from Shepherds Balm, a devotional for Christian leaders by Rich Earl now available at

"I throw myself down in my chamber, and I call in, and invite God, and his Angels thither, and when they are there, I neglect God and his Angels, for the noise of a fly, for the rattling of a coach, for the whining of a door.” John Donne

How often have we knelt to pray and before our
hearts have even entered into God’s presence we
become absorbed in some trivial earthly matter. The
phone rings, our stomach growls, we remember
something we ought to have done. As single-hearted
servants we ought to stay focused on the One to
whom we are speaking and listening, but we do not
always. In the end our faithfulness will not be
measured merely by counting up the list of tasks
performed. A measure of our faithfulness will be in
our attention to the Master Himself, in the keenness
of our listening for His Words.

Some are effective and contented contemplatives,
not I. It requires rigor and intentionality for me to
stay put and listen, and to willingly open my
stubborn heart before my Master. Wanting to be
aware and sensitive to the needs around me, I often
forget that without His detailed instructions, I'll be of
little help to those I seek to nurture. How many
more years until I learn that the earth can wait a few
moments for me to solve all its ills?

As a boy sitting in school I longed for recess
times. I would sprint out of the school doors with my
friends and run and wrestle and chase until my heart
pounded. Now I am the same in some core way. “Sit
still”, I say to myself, like that lively schoolboy
waiting for recess. Maybe I have yet to learn the pure
joy of making Him my recess- the place of heart pounding
joy. Come unto me and I will give you recess?
— Richard Earl

You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is
stayed on You, Because he trusts in You.
— Isaiah 26:3 (NKJV)

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