Matt W Cook

writer.former fundamentalist.christianly fellow

Tag: devos

Morning Devos: Moses and Resistance

In Exodus chapter 4, Moses has Pressfield-style Resistance. He saw the impossible: the unburnt burning bush. It was a perspective-widening experience that changed how he sees everything, and he knows, more or less, what he’s supposed to do next. But he’s afraid and doubting.

Doubt 1: They will not believe me (my contribution won’t be respected or validated and thus will not matter)

Stick into a snake (and back again)!
that cool thing you do where a thing turns into something else–you’ll be able to do it again

Hand all leprous (and back again)!
that time it looked like it was all over but then it got better–that happens too

Water into blood (it isn’t coming back)!
failing all else, pouring your heart out onto the sand should be convincing

Doubt 2: I am not eloquent (i’m so dumb when i talk it’ll invalidate my whole thing)

Who hath made man’s mouth?
the complex wirings and intricate circumstances that have arisen to form your supposed deficiencies are part of the same system that makes up even your most treasured conceptions of self

I will be with thy mouth.
trust the soup

Doubt 3: Send by the hand of whom thou wilt (i can’t think of any other excuses at the moment but just please not me)

The Levite your brother can speak well. #angerkindled
you don’t have to do it alone but you do have to do it

“OK”

And Moses took his wife and sons,
and set them upon an ass,
and he returned to the land of Egypt
and took the rod of God in his hand.

Morning Devotions

The main thing that bugged me about the State of the Union was the way Trump wove Christian narratives in his speech to co-opt religion into his uncompassionate policies. Even when I was a Believer I squirmed when politics stuck its greasy fingers into Faith. Faith almost never comes away clean when she screws around with politics.

So I’m going to talk about daily devotions this morning instead.

I get up around six. It’s dark and cold and I have to push away immediate feelings of hatred for all life. I don’t feel like a morning person during the first few minutes of consciousness.

I splash water on my hands and face. It’s cold because I won’t wait for the tap to warm up. The bathroom light is blinding that early. But now I am waking up.

I’m a morning person by the time I sit at my desk. I start with prayer.

I address my prayers to God—turns out I can still do that, even though I don’t think he’s real. I express my gratitude at the good things in my life. As I express, I recognize more and more good that I would not have noticed without a morning habit. Then I look to my struggles. Where do I want work/development/growth/sanctification? I close my prayers with a quiet spirit of willingness. I want wisdom. I am willing to listen.

In this spirit, I read.

Usually I read the Bible. I’ve read it cover-to-cover a few times, and I’ll do it again this year. I read slowly, with a journal and pen beside me. I read like a man looking for treasure in his basement. I almost always walk away with something, which is more than I can say about listening to the State of the Union.