Since posting my thoughts about the Pope's retirement, I've been nagged by something he said. Ok, not actually a something, a specific word...Docile. Not a particularly common word but a good one nonetheless. Why is it then that this one word is such a stand out for me? Shouldn't I be focused on the message his words are giving,
"...so that you may be fully docile to the action of the Holy Spirit...May the Lord show you what is willed by Him..."
rather than a fixation with a single word? Certainly; but I wondered if that one word was trying to reveal additional messages all its own.
What I discovered has surprised me. I've always taken that word as a simple one, basically meaning 'to be easy to get along with', 'even tempered'. But what I didn't realize is this old British word actually has two meanings:
1. easily managed
2. readily teachable
Wow, this reveals a whole new layer to Pope Benedict's words. As I read them again, I asked myself, "Am I docile?" "Am I easily managed and readily teachable?" What is God trying to reveal to me through his Holy Spirit?
As a follower of Jesus, I believe my gut instincts, intuition, conscious, and the like, are more accurately described as the Holy Spirit alive and working within me. So, the question remains, "Am I easily managed and readily teachable to the spirit? I'd like to think so but since I am human, I mess things up a lot and often ignore the nudging of the Spirit. I need to cut this out... Acts 1:8 teaches, "But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witness..."
Why do I keep messing things up when not only do I have a guiding Spirit within me to show me the way, that Spirit has power babee! And power is good, right? Why should I keep relying on and reacting to my own thoughts and feelings when the power of the Holy Spirit is mine? (i'm feeling the sudden urge to pound my chest, Tarzan-style) And you know what? That's just the way Jesus wants it. Bold, powerful, expressions of His truths are what's going to change my life for the better as well as those around me.
You and I can start with his most powerful command of all, "Love you neighbor (that means everyone that is not you) as yourself." -Mark 12:31. I know how hard this one can be but remember the Spirit can do what we can not. "With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible." -Matthew 19:26. This is reassuring because most days I feel pretty weak when it comes to loving some of the 'neighbors' in my life. But, that's okay because 2 Corinthians 12:10 says, "When I am weak, then I am strong." Oh yeah, this is the 'ole upside-down logic we read so much about in the Bible. "The first shall be last...Bless those who curse you...He that loses his life saves it...The weak are strong." Odd? Yes! Yet, they work. They work because they factor God into our equation. When we're weak and trusting, God's power, through his Holy Spirit, is with us. That makes us strong...far stronger than if we relied on ourselves.
So, dare I be docile? Most definitely yes! Why would I not accept the gift of being managed, taught, and unconditionally loved every step of the way.
Kirsten Berger Coaching