Keep It Real, Get Grace

by Ray Reuter on March 14, 2019

“Practice the present moment.” This is advice from holy men and women who teach us how to trust in divine providence and abandon ourselves to that providence. We must approach this wisdom by reminding ourselves that the future and past don’t actually exist. You might be saying … that’s obvious! Yet often, especially in times of anxiety or suffering or fear, that’s where we go. We are familiar with that place — we go back and remember something from the past that prevents us from handling what is happening now. Or we project forward because we think of bad things that could happen to us and potential suffering we might have to endure. But remember, the past doesn’t exist. It’s only in our minds. This is also true with the future. Next month, next week, tomorrow, doesn’t really exist even though our minds might be imagining that place.

So what does it matter?! It matters because God can’t give you and me grace for things that are not real. God cannot give you grace for any future, hypothetical possibility, or any past pain. The reason is because God doesn’t exist in the past or the future. God is outside of time, but you exist within time, at a certain moment on the spectrum of time. And God can only find you at that moment, which is the present. Therefore, God can only give you grace in the present moment. If you are looking for help in the future or you want healing in the past, God can’t go there because you’re not.

God is only found where you are, and so the grace that you need is in the here and now. Desire to master your thoughts, to master your mind, and to draw it back from wherever fear or anxiety or doubt is taking it. Without this discipline, you’ll never be able to put your trust in God in the present moment because you won’t be in the present moment. You’ll be in your imagination somewhere else, somewhere that doesn’t even exist and may never exist. Why should God give you grace for a hypothetical future that may never happen?

Here and now is where you can find the Lord. Here and now is where you can talk to the Lord and find the insight and the grace that you need for that present moment. That’s when the Lord can teach you to trust him, to abandon yourself to his providence in each and every moment. Without being in the present moment, you’ll miss out on His grace. So, keep it real, get grace.


The Road Less Fettered (#16)

by Ray Reuter on February 28, 2019

The Road Less Fettered has been traveled before by many wise and wonderful people. Below are six more of my favorite quotes that are worth pondering and lead to unfettering …

Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom. —Viktor E. Frankl

Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow. —Melody Beattie

Yesterday is ashes.
Tomorrow is green wood.
Only today does the fire burn brightly.
Inuit Proverb

Never risk what you have and need for what you don’t have and don’t need.
—Warren Buffett

Live out of your imagination, not your history.
—Stephen Covey

All men and women are born, live, suffer and die;
what distinguishes us one from another is our dreams,
whether they be dreams about worldly or unworldly things,
and what we do to make them come about.
We do not choose to be born.
We do not choose our parents.
We do not choose our historical epoch,
the country of our birth,
or the immediate circumstances of our upbringing.
We do not, most of us, choose to die;
nor do we choose the time and conditions of our death.
But within this realm of choicelessness, we do choose how we live.
—Joseph Epstein


Start a Fire

February 21, 2019

“The human spirit, like a campfire, must be lit again each day.” —Steve Chandler Imagine you are camping. You light a fire, enjoy it for the night, then wake up the next day. The fire has burned itself out. You understand that it will be necessary to start a new campfire tonight if you want […]

Read the full article →

Your Life’s Wage

February 14, 2019

I came across this poem. It challenged me to think about the wages I have set on my life. Are they too low? Are yours too low?! Maybe it is time to ask life for a raise … My Wage I bargained with Life for a penny, And Life would pay no more, However I […]

Read the full article →

Self-Glorification vs. Self-Fulfillment

February 7, 2019

Anthony DeMello caught my attention when he contrasted two different types of feelings … The first … the kind of feeling when someone praises you, when you are approved, accepted, applauded. Or when you succeed, make it, reach the top, “win.” Or when you were the boss, had power or popularity, people looked up to […]

Read the full article →

Screen Idol

January 31, 2019

I have remarked and experienced multiple times how from the moment I first became “Papa Ray” my understanding of my Heavenly Father has grown. I am aware of His unconditional love for me. I am aware of His desire for me to spend time with Him, to hang out and play and talk and BE […]

Read the full article →

Play Dead

January 24, 2019

Macarius was a monk who lived in the desert for sixty years. He was known for his peace of soul, and his sayings and teaching were widely shared. According to one story, a youth, desiring to become a monk, asked Macarius: “How may I be saved?” Macarius sent the disciple to a cemetery and told […]

Read the full article →

My 3 Words • 2019

January 17, 2019

a life unfettered … I’m ready to share MY 3 WORDS for 2019. I find this process invaluable to discern my focus and intention for the year. The picture I chose to radiate these 3 words anchors them for me and is worth “a thousand words.” ツ #1 • CONTENT … to limit myself in […]

Read the full article →

By Another Way

January 10, 2019

The beginning of a new year prompts an assortment of opportunities to reboot, refresh, renew, revitalize, remake. A familiar story from scripture that happens within the first few days of a year shines light on this occasion. It is the story of the Magi, the Three Wisemen, the Three Kings, that followed His star to […]

Read the full article →

Forward. Always Forward. Everywhere Forward.

January 3, 2019

“Forward, always forward, everywhere forward! We must not be held back by debts, bad years, or by difficulties of the times. Man’s adversity is God’s opportunity.”  ~Archabbot Boniface Wimmer, O.S.B. I have been extremely fortunate to have three sons graduate from Benedictine College (BC) in Atchison, KS. The BC Ravens football team played in the NAIA […]

Read the full article →