Saturday, October 30, 2010

Study Break 2010 - The Churning Within

Part of my study break has included spending less time online, and thinking about the time I DO spend online and giving it some purpose. Which explains why I haven't been blogging much this time around.

I am still processing my experiences this week. It has not always been easy, although the time I spent at the Virginia Museum of Fine Art - with my mom, no less - was well spent and filled with grace all around.

Things are still churning within me, though. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but it is - probably by necessity - a difficult thing.

Faith is the evidence of things not seen, and I have no doubt that any present discomfort is for a greater good. In the meantime, I pray for my family members to have the endurance to tolerate me in these days, and thank God for a husband whose greatest gift seems to be patience and a deep understanding of the parts of me that I have yet to figure out.

One interesting thing that I have learned and put into practice this week concerns prayer - specifically, the notion of praying for others. Intercessory prayer.

Many, many requests for prayer come across my purview every day, often from the PCC Care team, often from church friends, family, folks all over the world. I confess that too many times these requests go unmet on my part, because I never feel like I can give them the time properly due. Because what could be more important, more deserving of intentional, dedicated time that something taken to God himself? Shouldn't I treat such a thing with the highest respect?

Of course. And, to me, that means time, dedicated, thought-out, free of distractions. Time like this is rare. It requires discipline and quiet. I struggle to make that happen, so I line up the requests on my task list and hope to set aside time to pray properly for each one...when I finish everything else on my task list.

And the likelihood of that happening?


But what if I just prayed, then and there, in the moment - nothing "proper", no flowery words, no over-thinking or over-analyzing, just a simple, "God, please...."

This "aha" moment came courtesy of my time at Richmond Hill and thanks to my small group friends, who have called me out more than once on my control issues. A prayer does not require a sermon. A prayer does not require complete understanding on my part.

It's a simple request. When done in it's purest form, it reminds me of who God is (God) and who I am not (God).

Funny, just when I think I really know something about life - just when I think I've gotten somewhere in this journey with God, I get knocked on my butt and reminded of just how little I understand anything.

For which I am grateful.


mary (elizabeth) said...

Love this. Love you, too. :)

annie said...

One of the things I like about the church we attend is that sometimes, if something comes up in testimony time that needs praying about, we will "stop the press" and pray about it at that moment!

annie said...

PS-- The verse on your sidebar there? 1 Peter 5:8, at least-Back in my "hippie Jesus freak" days, I embroidered that verse down the side seam of my jeans, in the King James version, no less!