Wait a minute - what exactly does reward mean for my life? Maybe it's an accolade, a gift, or a blessing. Perhaps it's personal satisfaction, affirmation, or an acquisition? Are we talking spiritual reward or earthly? Maybe I should try and figure out how to define the idea of "reward" for myself. Why am I so busy worrying about a reward?
Is it just the culture of western life that pushes us to expect to be either rewarded or punished, even by God? Certainly a lot of interpretations of theology seems to be geared that way: Eternal life or eternal damnation. No wonder more and more people are becoming skeptical of religion. Is all the reward of a faith-filled life posthumous?
But many people want to look upon God with the eyes with which they look upon a cow; they want to love God the way they love a cow that you love because it gives you milk and cheese. This is how people behave who want to love God because of external wealth or inner comfort; but they do not love God properly: rather, they love their self interest. ― Meister Eckhart*
Dear Creator of Me ~
As the first full week of Lent begins, I want so very much to be on the right track, do the right things, think the right thoughts. I want to love you the right way. How do I do that, how will I know I'm doing it the way I'm supposed to? Do I have to wait 'til I die to find out?
Help me pause in my anxiousness about being correct in how I follow all the rules and simply rest my spirit in you. Encourage me to give up seeking the reward of you and take on being the gift of you. For this week, my simple prayer will be: Show me your ways O LORD, and teach me your paths. [Psalm 25:3] Let me truly discover how virtue is its own reward. amen.
*Meister Eckhart von Hockheim [c. 1260 – c. 1327] was a Dominican priest, German philosopher, theologian, and mystic who had more than a brush with controversy. Some of his teachings were labeled as heresy and he was brought before the Inquisition. Since the 19th century, interest in Eckart's teachings have been quite popular and he is now considered a "great mystic".
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