As an extension of the “practicing resurrection” theme of Circle of Hope this Eastertide season, we’re using this week in Daily Prayer: Water to reflect together on the Christian path of finding our true selves in God alone.  We’re using a marvelous children’s story by Mercer Mayer to illustrate the path.  Welcome to Herbert the Timid Dragon. 

Our wisdom . . . consists almost entirely of two parts: the knowledge of God and of ourselves. But as these are connected together by many ties, it is not easy to determine which of the two precedes and gives birth to the other.  —  John Calvin

Today’s Bible reading

It happens so regularly that it’s predictable. The moment I decide to do good, sin is there to trip me up. I truly delight in God’s commands, but it’s pretty obvious that not all of me joins in that delight. Parts of me covertly rebel, and just when I least expect it, they take charge. I’ve tried everything and nothing helps. I’m at the end of my rope. Is there no one who can do anything for me? Isn’t that the real question? The answer, thank God, is that Jesus Christ can and does. He acted to set things right in this life of contradictions where I want to serve God with all my heart and mind, but am pulled by the influence of sin to do something totally different. — Romans 7:21-25 (The Message) 

More thoughts for meditation from Mercer Mayer’s Herbert the Timid Dragon

Herbert seems to have learned to be himself. He’s got a wagonload of gold to offer as ransom. He isn’t trying to make a grand rescue. He is still misunderstood and he still gets afraid, but he doesn’t run or avoid. He takes a new path suited to his gifts.

Suggestions for action

As we follow Herbert to discover our true selves with our true gifts, we will meet God, too. We may discover along with Herbert that there are gifts hidden in old fears if we can see them and name them. Can you remember finding the freedom to use your gifts, even when you might have been anxious about doing so? Journal about that for a bit while asking God to guide your reflection.  Again trust what comes up and listen to these thoughts from the deeper parts of you.

This week’s breath prayer (carry it with you today):

 (inhale) Show me You; (exhale) show me me.

Today is Athanasius of Alexandria Day! Get to know this very influential ancestor at Celebrating Our Transhistorical Body.