Wednesday, November 14, 2012

“There’s Not a Thing You Can Do About It”

Last Thursday, I flew to San Antonio to meet up with the editorial staff of The High Calling. We gathered in Kerrville (about an hour west) and then had dinner in the town of Hunt, Texas, before going on to Laity Lodge.

We had meetings (more on that tomorrow), and then joined with a group from Westlake Presbyterian Church in Austin for a series of devotions, messages, music and a Eucharist service. The speaker for the weekend was Robert Mulholland, a retired professor from Asbury Theological Seminary in Maine. Through a series of four messages, he spoke quietly and forcefully about “the false self.”

I paid close attention to what he had to say, because I was livetweeting it for The High Calling. (If you want to see the stream of tweets, search for the #THCretreat hashtag on Twitter.) At several points, I was both tweeting and taking notes, and once I simply stopped to listen and concentrate.

And this is what I wrote:

“God loves you,” Mulholland said, “and there’s not a thing you can do about it.” The issue is always, always God’s steadfast love, he said; God maintains relationship even when we break it.

I wrote that statement, and then wrote this short poem next to it:

I carried a stone, rubbing
its rough edges smooth,
chipping away all points
of sharpness until it fit
in my palm with no abrasion,
no roughness,

In The Pursuit of God, A.W. Tozer says this: “God was our original habitat and our hearts cannot but feel at home when they enter again that ancient and beautiful abode.”

Listening to Mulholland in a place like Laity Lodge evokes a sense of “coming home,” of finding that home again.

I think I am that stone in my poem.

Led by Jason Stasyszen and Sarah Salter, we’ve been reading Tozer’s The Pursuit of God. Today we finish our discussion of chapter 8, “Restoring the Creator-creature relation.” To see more posts on this chapter, please visit Jason at Connecting to Impact.


Unknown said...

I'm going to love this post and there's nothing you can do about it! Love that poem dude!

Fatha Frank said...

Agree with Jay! Can I just say how talented you are to come up with such a perfect poem while taking notes, while listening to a lesson, while tweeting?

Marcus Goodyear said...

Glynn, you are about the least abrasive person I know. It was so great to be with you, and I love that you are still writing poetry notes.

Anonymous said...

i can relate to being that rough stone in the hands of God.

David Rupert said...

I caught that too. And yet, I really try to make myself out to be the bad guy!

Unknown said...

Lovely. I just wrote about this, yesterday ... and now it seems like everyone is writing about it, Duane Scott, too. :) Maybe God is repeating himself just to make sure I hear it?

jasonS said...

His love: this is truth and anything that tries to convince us otherwise is a lie. I'm with you, Glynn. What an awesome thing to know He's not letting go and there is an uninterrupted stream of love coming at all times. As Paul prayed, may we know how deep, how high, how wide, how long is the love of Christ... Thank you--beautiful post on so many levels.

Diana said... .... exactly how many hands do you have, dude? WOW - tweeting, taking notes, writing poems, thinking deeply all the while. Terrific and personal report of what sounds like a time of real refreshment and encouragement. Bravo! And thank you.

Sandra Heska King said...

That's it. That place is like coming home.

Cheryl said...

I wrote that same statement in my journal. It seemed so simple, yet profound.

That abode? Sounds like the place of our abiding, doesn't it? ;)

Unknown said...

loved this - thanks Glynn. heart shaped stone. yes please.