I took a sick day last week. It was a beautiful day outside, blue sky and sunny, with birds chortling, even though it was the first day of winter. I sat in bed with a stuffy nose and my cup of tea, and as I looked out the window I realised how full and whirring my mind had been over the last few days. What I really needed was to re-centre, to lay out several aspects of my life before God and work out what He wanted.
As I reflected on something in my life that I’d promised, only days earlier, to lay down before him, I found myself praying ‘Lord, you and I have been at cross-purposes on this one…’
Almost immediately, the thought hit me: If you and God are working at cross-purposes, then you’re working against yourself.
How is it that I consistently forget that God wants only good things for me; that His ways are perfect and that His burden is designed to be light, not heavy?
Only minutes before this thought, as I looked out into the bare branches of the tree outside my window, the song had come to mind, ‘be still my soul, the Lord is on your side.’
What a deep comfort this should be to me. How quickly I should hasten to line my will up with his knowing that he asks for no sacrifice or step of obedience that will not ultimately lead to my good.
If you’d asked me yesterday if I believed in the Immaculate Conception, I’d have said ‘Yes, absolutely.’ But that was before last night.
Following up from a conversation about the apocrypha with a Catholic friend, I was doing a quick browse of the internet. I kept noticing the phrase ‘Immaculate Conception’ coming up, but something about the way it was worded wasn’t sitting right.
Finally, for the first time in my life, I actually looked up the meaning of the phrase. And I was very surprised at what I found.
Like many people, I was familiar with the term. It seems to be used particularly often in regards to unwed girls getting pregnant: “Well this was hardly the immaculate conception!”
Everyone knows the Immaculate Conception refers to the Virgin Mary becoming pregnant by the Holy Spirit, right? Wrong.