Be Careful What You Pray for (and other random thoughts)…

I haven’t blogged in a while. My “blogging” had become little more than a regurgitation of sermons I was preaching, and well, honestly, that seemed like a waste of time, so I let it go. Maintaining margin in life demands that we must let go of some things. Posting an edited sermon (though it didn’t take a lot of time) was one of those things I could let go without affecting too much else. But…

Since I haven’t “blogged” in a while, a lot of random thoughts have just sort of piled up, so anyone reading this will get my thought vomit as I use today’s blog for what blogging was supposed to be in the beginning–a journal. Speaking of journaling, I used to be an avid journaler. Not so much anymore. Since I started a job in the “real world,” I find it difficult to find the time to journal like I once did. It makes me appreciate in a much deeper way those persons who do live in the rhythm of a regular spiritual discipline. Cudo’s to you, I say!

Okay, so random thought number one is to confess that I found it easier to establish a pattern of spiritual discipline when I was serving in vocational ministry. I’m not sure if that is because I had more time (I seriously doubt it), or I made more time (out of guilt or a sense of duty), or if I was simply more in-tune to the Spirit and that brought intentionality. Whatever the motivation then, I am challenged more to find and/or make the time to practice the spiritual disciplines.

One spiritual discipline that I haven’t relinquished is prayer. I still pray…a lot. One thing I’m praying for even in this moment is for my friends and former colleagues in Southwest Louisiana. They have been hit hard over the past several hours with rain and tornadoes. Of course, that rain and those tornadoes is on top of the hurricanes from last year from which people are still recovering. I pray for strength and hope to fill their hearts and lives, and for the merciless insurance companies to discover some amount of mercy as flood waters recede and recovery begins.

Speaking of prayer. Yesterday, I prayed what I thought to be a bold prayer–“I’m broken…Lord, break me more.” I suppose this is confession number two, but I’ve been a bit spiritually broken lately. I won’t bore you with details, but there has been a bit of unsettledness in our lives as of late, and that unsettledness has caused me to question the Lord on not a few occasions. I have dealt with some anger. I have dealt with some doubt. I have dealt with some confusion, and if I’m being totally honest, I’ve dealt with some fear, too. I just sort of laid that out before the Lord and said, “I’m broken.” Immediately, I knew my prayer had to be, “Lord, break me more.”

Well, be careful what you pray for!

Here’s what I heard in reply:

“You know, Lynn, one of your problems is that you are confusing your wants and your needs. What you want is for Me to be an add-on to your self-centered life, but what you need is for Me to totally eradicate your self-centeredness. You also know that if I give you what you need, it’s going to be painful, and I know you really don’t like pain that much. So, as long as you waver between what you want and what you need, you’re going to continue to be unsettled. When you’re ready, I’ll give you what you need. That, too, may be unsettling, but you’ll have peace, and that’s really what you’re lacking right now.”

“What you want is for Me to be an add-on to your self-centered life, but what you need is for Me to totally eradicate your self-centeredness.”

So, as is always the case, one prayer leads to another, and today my prayer has become, “Lord, give me peace.” Confession number three, I’m a little afraid of how He will answer that prayer, too. In some ways, I feel a little like Sonny (played by Robert Duvall) from the film “The Apostle.” I said in some ways I feel like Sonny…not all ways, but I do want to shout out “Give me peace! Give it to me, give it to me, give it to me!” If you want to see what I mean, you can watch it here.

So, I’m going to just leave it there for now. It might give you pause for contemplation. And besides, that’s about all the random thoughts I can handle for now.

Until next time, keep looking up…

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