From: T.M. Schoewe
When sitting down to write, two thoughts claimed my attention: school and work. August used to be the last full month for vacations. Now it’s the month school starts. Thinking of Labor Day raised the subject of work, so we’ll kick those two thoughts around.
Let’s take the second thought first. The thought of WORK takes us back to the beginning, to the creatures of this world and our Creator who put man in the garden to till the earth. Our Lord God created man and woman to be “workers.” Today our country is in crisis. For many years there has been lots of talk about unemployment. We think that most of the discussion about high unemployment or the joblessness we face misses the mark. Joblessness is a national crisis because it has become a personal crisis, a spiritual emptiness that is taking us away from the garden where God created us to be, among other things, workers. To be a worker is to be a productive part of the daily life of our nation, this is true, but there is a lot of satisfaction in doing your work well, whatever that may be, which is more important than merely earning a living. Working with others and learning a discipline or craft or trade, or even being an inventor, gives us the means to find out who we really are. Even with financial support, without work we are poor in spirit.
With roughly 12 million unemployed Americans and many more that have left the workforce altogether, our country’s biggest problem is the devastating effect not being able to work has on the human spirit. It may very well be a leading contributor to many suicides. And it certainly ought to be the number one priority of congress and our President. Yet our government by means of high taxes and thousands of regulations hinders businesses and other new creative plans whereby many might find work. It is heading our country in the wrong direction and eventually into the dust bin of history. But we believe we are still a great country with people who have new ideas and will create new areas of work, like Steve Jobs and Bill Gates did out of a garage.
Now as to the thought about school or learning, our country is permeated with schools. For any subject you can name you can find a school that teaches it. We all know that we should never quit school, or learning. Even though we may graduate, just think for a minute about the meaning of the word commencement. Isn’t it interesting how each stage of education ends with a commencement ceremony? The end is marked as the beginning and something more, of more learning, which we should embrace and look forward to. If one thinks in terms of educational degrees, after a high school diploma and a college degree and perhaps even a master’s degree, one can still go on for yet another degree and learn to “pile” it “higher” and “deeper.” Some say that’s what PHD means. Anyway, these are but degrees and pieces of paper one can hang on his or her “I love me” wall at home or in their office.
Allow us to share one of the great secrets of life. After all your schooling or training there is one school you should keep going to continuously, and which perhaps is the most worthwhile of all because with it you can best integrate all of your education and learning in a way that makes it most meaningful in your life with others. The fact is we can all do this. This we do in what we call the “school of life,” where hopefully we continue learning about ourselves and our neighbors, especially in relation to our Creator the Lord our God. The subject of this school is Lectio Divina. You will not have to pay any tuition to go to this school, and you will miss out on much and may pay greatly if you don’t attend.
To be a student in LECTIO DIVINA all you have to do, for instance, is open your Bible in the center where you will find the Book called Psalms. There are 150 psalms. If you read six psalms a day you can finish the Book in one month. How about just reading a psalm a day, and while reading each psalm through, pick out and write down or underline with a colored pen your favorite verse, the one that attracts your attention. Keep a journal or maybe write it down in a notebook. Once you have finished reading all 150 psalms begin again and do the same thing. See how perhaps a different verse from that of your first reading sticks out or grabs your attention. You will be surprised how at different times in your life you are moved by different thoughts and how the Holy Spirit in His Word strikes you or speaks to you differently each time your read the same psalm over.
You can do the same thing with all Scripture. Reading three chapters a day and four on Sunday, you can read through the whole Bible each year. Or you might read the three lessons you hear on Sunday as you try to take away three thoughts.
Going to LECTIO DIVINA will help you in your life with Him Who is the Way, the Life and the Truth. And you will always have work to do on your way.