Reflection on a Saying of a Desert Christian: Abba Iperechios

“Likewise, Abba Iperechios calls obedience the invaluable treasure of the monk: “Let him who has attained it be assured that his prayer will always be heard and will be presented with boldness at the altar of Him Who was obedient even unto death.”

Wondering something… Are you as uncomfortable with the idea of obedience as I often am?  I often assign a negative connotation to the word.  I remember being ordered to obey my parents when I didn’t wanna. Or when I thought their commands were stupid. Or when I just wanted my own way despite the fact my beleaguered parents were charged with the responsibility to raise me to be a law-abiding citizen.

There’s another place where we might balk at obedience: laws we don’t like, disagree with, or we may think inconvenience us such as speed limits, turn signals, actually coming to a complete stop at a stop sign and counting three Mississippis before moving. I am sure you can see what vexes me about the way others drive.

While I am certain I could list more examples of when might or might not choose obedience, I think these two examples share enough common characteristics about obedience.  Obedience is about our person well-being and the well-being of the society in which we live. Obedience achieves a greater good.

So too it is with God.  Choosing to obey God accomplishes a few things I can think of.  For ourselves personally, obedience to God brings us closer to God. The closer we become to God, the closer we realize within ourselves God’s vision for each of us as the person God created us to be.

Then there is the corporate effect of our obedience to God.  When each of us chooses to be obedient, I like to think of us as being those pebbles tossed into water that cause ripples and that those ripples unite to become a tsunami that overwhelms the world with the love of God.

How do you think of obedience to God?


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