Saturday, February 19, 2011

Week Two Review

Week Two Review

On night, in February of 2011, I had a long night with God, the kind of night where I can’t sleep and God won’t leave me alone. Those hours of praying and trying to doze led to a vision of the person that God could transform me into. I committed to the experiment of spending five minutes out of each hour asking God how I could serve him in the next hour. I expected to spend a couple minutes of prayer opening myself to God and his love. The next two minutes were supposed to be dedicated to listening to God during the final minute I was supposed to open my eyes and find some concrete way to serve God in the next hour.

Week Two Results

When I first started this journey a couple weeks ago, God’s instructions seemed simple: clean this, pay attention to the child, love this person when you are tired. These last ten days have been a whirlwind of people and opportunities to love them. As usual I’ve found that my efforts to love are insufficient and broken. My hope is that God’s grace will continue to transform me and that my displays of imperfect love will be transformed into instruments of his perfect love.
            This week, the concept of the wilderness been very important to me. The wilderness is the place, either literal or spiritual that I go to hear God’s voice clearly. When I am swept up in the world, its cares and the business around me, I cannot hear God’s voice clearly. The wilderness, whether it is a month-long trip in the desert or seven minutes in prayer, is a process of emptying. I empty out the world, its rules, concerns and reality to hear God’s one true voice of love.

Intercessory prayer has become a much bigger part of my life. I have at a dozen people who keep floating through my prayers. Some of them I know very well and some of them I know through the whispers of God. God unexpectably opens up opportunities to witness with the attendant at a café, I’m emailing with my brother who is serving in a Muslim country and then I go to church and meet a couple getting ready to serve in another Muslim country. It is very much like God is opening my eyes to a world that was always there but never perceived by me.

During this week God has opened me more fully to the opportunities my children to witness to God. When my wife and I first had children I was overwhelmed by their constant need to be loved and cared for. As they got older I started to treasure whatever time I could get to myself. This week God has opened me more fully to the joy and pleasure of saying, “yes” when they come asking to play.

Fatigue: There were moments this week when I felt just completely exhausted. I was so tired that all I could do was sit and not move. The idea of putting more effort into seeking to serve God seemed overwhelming. I’m still trying to figure if these are signs that I’m ignoring an important principle like Sabbath rest or opportunities to exercise my faith that God still calls to us when are not actively seeking him. What does it mean to rest in the Lord?
Blessings: God has continued to bless me with some wonderful time with my wife, children, family and friends. I thank him for those blessings. God has also given me something that I have not had in a long time, hope. There are precious moments in these last days when I believe that I can be of use to God in his central task of loving.

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