Though a very silent man he was so mild and calm that Ged soon lost his awe of him, and in a day or two more he was bold enough to ask his master, “When will my apprenticeship begin, Sir?”
“I has begun,” said Ogion.
There was a silence, as if Ged was keeping back something he had to say. They he said it: “But I haven’t learned anything yet!”
“Because you haven’t found out what I am teaching,” replied the mage.”
~ From A Wizard of Earthsea
Last night, Ursula K. LeGuin passed away at the age of 88. She was a prolific writer who gave to us, among many things, the Earthsea Trilogy. The passage above is one that was burned into my brain many years ago when I first read the book. I likened the apprenticeship of Ged to the apprenticeship of any of the Apostles, Disciples, or, even, myself. There is, after all, a certain edginess that we take on when we try to follow the Lord, is there not? We want to learn things quickly. We want to do things quickly. We want to change overnight. We ask God to hurry in our requests to Him. But, the work of God takes more time — and energy — than that.
When Ged was able to set aside his notions about what his master, Ogion, was all about and began to pay more attention to Ogion’s words and deeds, Ged learned much. We, too, have to set aside our preconceived notions about God. We have to set aside our demands. We have to set aside our hopes and dreams and desires. We have to approach God much like a clean slate so that God can write upon it. Only when we empty ourselves will we truly be able to see and hear God’s work in our lives.
Trust me, it is incredibly easy to write about. However, it is not that easy to do. It is hard to set aside our human instincts, our human drives, our human desires. It is hard to take the backseat. It is hard to allow someone, even God, to be in charge. Yet, it is only when we do so that we open ourselves up to learn. God has so much to say to us. God has so much to show us. God has so much to teach us. He can only do so when we are ready.
Prepare yourself today. Set aside your expectations and demands. Approach God totally open to Him and see what happens.
FAITH ACTION: Take some time in silent reflection today and ask God to open your eyes to the things He is trying to teach you today.