Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: The Importance of Being Earnest (not about the play) (08/04/11)
TITLE: Lord of the Pots and Pans
By Shanta Richard
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The cotton that grows in the fields cannot become clothing for man unless it is ginned and spun and woven into cloth and cut and sewn…
The wheat that grows in the farm cannot feed man unless it is harvested milled, ground and baked into bread….
The same principle applies to the Word of God. Unless it is read and understood and earnestly put into practice it cannot benefit the soul of man. Trees don’t become houses, cotton does not become garments and wheat does not become food without earnest effort and the discipline of meticulously adhering to the blue-print, pattern or recipe. It is not easy and needs constant practice. I admire the way one simple man achieved the goal of making the Word of God the template for his life. He practiced the presence of God every moment of everyday, in everything he did.
His name was Nicholas Herman, a native of French Lorraine. Poor and uneducated, he worked as a footman and soldier. God called him to become a lay brother among the bare-footed Carmelites at Paris. Thereafter he was known as Brother Lawrence. He served his brother monks in the community kitchen.
One mid-winter day, when the snow lay heavy and deep on the ground, he looked through his window and saw a bare and leafless tree. In that almost dead tree he saw the promise of flowers in spring and fruit in fall. This hope was the beginning of the earnest fervor in his heart to grow in the love and wisdom of God in what he called, ‘to walk in His presence.’ In humility he marched through life singing cheerfully as he performed his menial duties.
Brother Lawrence practiced a few spiritual maxims – surrendering himself to God, being totally humble, proclaiming steadfast belief in the goodness of God, never doubting His love, offering the sacrifice of perfect worship, and finding joy in all circumstances. He said that:
“All things are possible to him who believes….
They are less difficult to him who hopes…..
They are easier to him who loves…..
And still more easy to him who practices and perseveres in these three virtues.”
Brother Lawrence passed away at the ripe old age of eighty. He was mourned by all who knew him. Knowing the importance of being earnest in little things, he sang God’s praises in his own sweet humble way:
“Lord of all the pots and pans and things,
Make me a saint by getting meals,
And washing up plates!”
The secret of Brother Lawrence’s blessed life is summarized in his own words:
“The time of business does not with me differ from the time of prayer, and in the noise and the clatter of my kitchen, while several persons are at the same time calling for different things; I possess God in as great tranquility as if I was upon my knees at the Blessed Sacrament.” (The Practice of the Presence of God – by Brother Lawrence)
‘Such a story, such an accomplishment, should never die as long as there are those who spend lifetimes in quest of the assurance and the wisdom of the lowly lay brother of Paris.’
(The Publishers of the Practice and Presence of God)
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