Then, the other week I noticed there was a jar of brightly colored pieces of paper on the counter in front of the changing rooms. I looked at the folded pieces of paper, not knowing what they really were and grabbed one on my way to the Shifting-Sands-of-Time Walking Machine. Opening it up, I discovered it was a Bible verse. Unfortunately not the full scripture, just the verse citation. But it got me to thinking … although I can’t read while I’m on that machine, I can certainly meditate with my head bowed as I watch my feet walk to nowhere. And then inspiration struck. What a perfect place to work on my prayer list. I am coordinated enough I can look briefly at the list – look back down, and spend time talking to God about me and that person.
So, I was giving myself a pat on the back – but a day or two into this I realized something. My prayers feel so hollow. It’s clearly a one sided conversation, me yakking at God. And half the time I don’t know what to say to Him. I mean … “Dear God. Please help my brother continue to be a good father. Please make his job go well. Thank you for his family. Help him to understand Mermaid-girl. Please let Mermaid-girl see you in her life, etc.” I mean – does God really NEED me to point those things out to Him? Or is it more about me being aware of others – and thinking of someone beyond myself. Of course in the back of my mind the words of Elizabeth Gilbert from Eat, Pray, Love keep rolling around. “If you can’t be specific in your prayers, why should God be specific in your life?”
Then Sunday rolled around. In Sunday School we watched a 15 minute video aimed at High Schoolers by Rob Bell. He has a series of lectures call Nooma. The one we watched was Dust. The message was – you’ll be known by the little things you do. And it should be the little things that you focus doing that allow others to see God in your life. It also talked about God believing in ME – the flip side of what we normal hear, US believing in God. What I really focused on was the message about “small things” being the key when others evaluate us and how successful our walk with God is. And I thought to myself, “Mit, you’re not being too successful here. I don’t think other people looking at your life, can see that it’s any different because God is in it.” And that makes me sad. I don’t want to TELL people what God means to me. I want them to SEE God in my life.
Then in Big People’s Church the sermon was on Temptation. How temptation is an attempt at distraction. At allowing ourselves to believe WE should be at the center of things instead of placing God at that center. Again I was convicted. I have thoughts of tempting things that run through my mind. And instead of trying to turn them off, I feed them. A few of them, I even share with others. And how can I be a successful Christian if I’m discussing things that don’t glorify God – or His plans – or His way?
And then I had another discussion – an on-going discussion about “Does your life or interaction with others influenced them? Should it? Why or why not? Does it matter?”
The person I was having this discussion with said, “I know the reason you get so much out of church. It’s because of the social aspect.” I admitted to myself at that point, that if I were to see a report card for my life, I’d have a failing grade. I think the way I’m leading my life, it looks like one little burnt out pixel, instead of contributing to the whole picture glorious picture.
Tomorrow is another day. Another chance. What else can I ask for? Maybe some grace?