Giving God Permission

So many people today seem to know about God…but so few seem to know God. We are filled with theologies of all colors, filled with speculation about God, yet we act in the most ungodly of ways. We hate, we kill, we cheat, we lie in ways large and small, individually and collectively every single day. We don’t know peace because we don’t know God. We act as if God does not exist, and so we are unaware of the grace God wishes to bestow on us. Within Christianity, we argue over denominational differences, we label and divide people into camps titled liberal or conservative, progressive or traditional. We fill up endless reams of paper with discussions over the wording of the liturgy, over the role of women, homosexuals and celibacy in the Church…and yet we, for the most part, ignore God and turn our backs on the poor. No wonder the world is growing more and more secular, more and more atheistic, and the extremists of all faiths garner all the attention.

Lord God, I give You permission to be
the Lord of my life
and the Lord of my ministry.
You, Lord, are the creator
and sustainer of the universe,
yet You have no power
over my life unless
I allow You to help me.
You are all powerful
and yet You are a
God of poverty
out of respect for my free will.
You give me, a weak pauper,
the power to say yes or no
to the abundance of grace
You wish to shower on me
every moment of my life.

Every day, in countless small ways,
I mount the throne of my life and
make myself the Lord of my life.
I say You are Lord,
but I do not relinquish my throne.
I do things my way.
Your way is often an untaken path.

You want to be the Lord of my life.
Not because You like being Lord,
or need or want to be Lord.
You want to be the Lord of my life
because You know that is
what is best for me.
And because You love me
You only want what is best for me.

O my God, I am tired of being
lord of my life.
My way is a dead end.
Your way leads to eternal life.
O my God, I give You permission
to be the Lord of my life.
Show me the way.
Amen.

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2 Responses to “Giving God Permission”


  1. 1 GOvideoHAWAII May 26, 2012 at 2:33 pm

    I found the following statement most intriguing!
    “You give me, a weak pauper,
    the power to say yes or no
    to the abundance of grace
    You wish to shower on me
    every moment of my life.”

  2. 2 David Nybakke May 26, 2012 at 2:57 pm

    Gerry, As Parker Palmer helped us see of what Christ revealed, the violence of our knowledge. Parker goes on to say that “modern America has fashioned itself around a cosmology of fragmentation.” This fragmentation exasperates us further and leaves us red in tooth and claw, as Tennyson wrote. We have had no way of identifying ourselves but over-against another.

    So the truth of our knowledge comes from the intelligence of the victim as your films help us understand.

    James Alison In “Knowing Jesus,” uses a helpful analogy to explain:
    The only way I think I can explain this is with reference to personal experience. I hope that we have all had the experience of gradually coming to perceive exactly the same things in a different way. We look out at a certain reality, at home, at work, in a relationship, and realize that, without our having understood a particular fact, or circumstance that we didn’t before, nevertheless, we are aware that our whole way of looking has changed profoundly and subtly. This might be for any number of reasons, like a new friendship, or the end of a period of anxiety where we hadn’t realized how much we’d allowed it to color our vision. The point is that the change is not in our conscious awareness, but in the background to that, in what makes us have a conscious awareness at all. It is as though we are watching a film; the film doesn’t change, but the projectionist subtly puts a filter into the projector, so that exactly the same film comes out, but is changed into sepia, or pink, or whatever.
    The point of my bringing this out is that the disciples’ block to understanding the intelligence of the victim was at this level. It was not a question of stupidity, of not grasping certain basic teachings. The problem was for them, and is for us, that the intelligence that was in Jesus was an intelligence at the level of what makes us conscious, what makes us aware. The disciples had, as we have, a background to understanding, which is actually formed by what Jesus was trying to change. The filter, if you like, which colors our perception without our being aware of it, not only is not the same as Jesus’ intelligence of the victim, but is in fact its reverse: our programming, if you like, forms us in rivalry, and the techniques of survival by exclusion.

    None of this, it must be said, could have been known until after the resurrection, when the new intelligence was able to irrupt into the lives of the disciples. However, they did then understand that Jesus had been trying to make this available to them not only in the way he went to his death, but in all the things he had taught them. (Knowing Jesus, pp. 40-41)


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