Imagined Burning Desire vs Actual Burning Bushes

A couple of quotes from today’s readings that the Australian Anglican Board of Mission put together.

The devil sometimes puts ambitious desires into our hearts, so that, instead of setting our hand to the work which lies nearest to us, and thus serving Our Lord in ways within our power, we may rest content with having desired the impossible – Teresa of Avila in Interior Castle

Resting content with merely having desired the impossible instead of actually accomplishing anything.

Ah, if only I could earn a million dollars a year. Then I would have the resources to serve God properly.

Everyone around would probably recognize that as mere pride and ambition shrouded with false humility. I, on the other hand, might be deluded into thinking it is a holy desire … and be so satisfied with such “holy ambition” that I never actually sense God’s actual desire for me.

On the flip side is the reality that the truly great thing (in God’s eyes) that we do is merely considered mundane by everyone else.

Earth’s crammed with heaven, / And every common bush afire with God; / But only he who sees, takes off his shoes. / The rest sit round it and pluck blackberries. – Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Not taking the big dollar promotion so that I still have time to pray and help Mrs Berhane, the Eritrean Muslim lady with the angry 14 year old boy living a couple doors down, with her driving skills so she can let a driver’s license. That may be my burning bush if I only have eyes to see, and sense enough to take my shoes off.


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