LITANY OF HUMILITY
O Jesus, meek and humble of heart, hear me.
From the desire of being esteemed,
deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being loved,
From the desire of being extolled,
From the desire of being honored,
From the desire of being praised,
From the desire of being preferred to others,
From the desire of being consulted,
From the desire of being approved,
From the fear of being humiliated,
deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being despised,
From the fear of suffering rebukes,
From the fear of being calumniated,
From the fear of being forgotten,
From the fear of being ridiculed,
From the fear of being wronged,
From the fear of being suspected,
That others may be loved more than I,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be esteemed more than I,
That in the opinion of the world,
others may increase, and I may decrease,
That others may be chosen and I set aside,
That others may be praised and I unnoticed,
That others may be preferred to me in everything,
That others may become holier than I,
provided that I may become as holy as I should.
- Rafael Cardinal Merry del Val
1 Thessalonians 4:11-12 "Aspire to live quietly, mind your own affairs, work with your hands, walk properly beside outsiders and be dependent upon no one."
I'm not sure why, but in studying this passage in scripture, I was reminded of my dad. In many ways, he epitomized this type of Christian and even though he wasn't the most demonstrative type of believer, he chose instead to "live out" his faith in a way that was more powerful than had he been a soap box preacher.
"Aspire to live quietly and mind your own affairs." Dad did live a quiet life. He preferred the simple life and really didn't need much more than the woman he loved to be by his side, work to do, children to raise and a purpose to fulfill. He didn't seek the limelight yet he was a light to many. People were drawn to dad, whether it was his humor, his handsome face, his generosity or his sharp, intuitive mind. It seemed when I was young that no matter where we went, my dad always knew people. As a child that only served to elevate him to celebrity status in my eyes, after all, if he knew everyone in Lethbridge, he must surely be a man of importance. At least, that is what I rationalized in my child's mind.
"Work with your hands" Dad was always a hard worker. Putting in long hours in order to provide for his family. He was an inventor and for all intents and purposes, was ahead of his time. Lacking financial backing and not willing to risk the well being of his family, many of dad's brilliant ideas were left on the cutting room floor. That's ok. - we never went hungry and he was the best of providers. As a child we didn't lack much and what we didn't have materially, dad made up for in security, love and protection.
"walk properly beside outsiders" Integrity was huge for dad and something he passed on to us. It is one of the earliest traits I recognized in my oldest daughter and something that I aspire to always. If my dad gave you his word and a handshake, it was as good as done. He said what he meant and meant what he said. A person could count on Nick Veer.
"be dependent upon no one." Dad liked to rely on himself and even though he would give anyone the shirt off his back, he didn't like to be a burden.He knew how to take care of his family and didn't expect a hand out or a free ride from life.
On this day March 15, your birthday, and really every day, I miss you Dad. So much sometimes that I can still sit down and have a good cry whenever I think of you. God knew the number of your days even before you were born. He knew that you would be a great dad and a wonderful husband. He knew of your failures, your successes, your quiet triumphs, your disappointments and all of the miniscule pieces in between. Nothing was a surprise to Him. I am so thankful that he chose to make you my dad. Life had many disappointments for you and by the world's standard, you may not have amounted to anything great, however in the eyes of your family, your accomplishments were colossal. We never doubted that you loved us, we never went hungry, cold or without the basic necessities of life and whenever possible, we also got much more than that. We learned what it meant to be a family, how to laugh, how to think for ourselves. You were the purveyor of good advice - some of it I heeded and have reaped the reward; some of it I chose to disregard and have suffered the consequences only to then instill those very ideals in my own children in the hope that they will be more discretionary than I was. I can still close my eyes and see your smile, hear your laugh, and smell your cologne. Would that those memories will never leave me. I see glimpses of you in my children and it brings me solace and joy. Remick is a funny, good natured faithful young man. Jordan was born with integrity beyond her years and Easton has determination and drive that I know came from you. I miss the simple blessing of being able to pick up the phone and have instant access to the best "hot line" around. And although you passed the hero torch to my husband when you walked me down that aisle, you never stopped being my hero; the template to which all others were measured against. I long for the day that I can run up to you once again, as though I were a small girl once more, take your large, work calloused hand in mine and once again tell you how much you mean to me. I know you are realizing your reward in heaven, and although there are no tears in that eternity, I know you long also to once again gather your family in your arms and smile that smile that I miss so much. I love you dad and miss you but am glad that you are with Jesus. I hope you are allowed glimpses of us now and again from your eternal home so that you can see the Legacy of Nick Veer and know that you "Got R Done."
HOW DO WE KNOW GOD'S WILL FOR US?
We spend a lot of time agonizing over what we think God's will is for our life, and how we can recognize it. The bible offers some very specific indicators. If we would start with these, I am quite certain that we would be in His will and many of our troubles would not be as debilitating. That is not to suggest that we would avoid all trials, but rather that we would ride on top of the crest rather than drowning beneath the wave. These are some things I have found in the scriptures that clearly indicate what God's will is for us:
1. James 1:18 - That you be saved
2. 1 Thessalonians 4:3 That you be sanctified (set apart by God for His Purpose)
3. Romans 12:1 That we offer ourselves as a living sacrifice for His use
4. Ephesian 5:17-18 That we be spirit controlled
5. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 - That we be satisfied - give thanks in all circumstances
6. 1 Peter - That we be submissive to all authorities (yes including a president we don't agree with or even like!)
7. 1 Peter 3:17 - That we suffer a while for the gospel (we will have trials)
8. 1 John 5:14-15 That we pray - without ceasing
Very rarely do I get all of these in any given day but I know that when I do, I have a very good day! We can always "Excel still more" (1 Thessalonian 4)So go out and do just that.