Monday, January 11, 2010

Struggling to Kneel

Just before John Ashcroft was being sworn in as a US senator, he met with family and friends for prayer. As they gathered around him, he saw his dad trying to get up from the couch where he sat. Since his father was in frail health, Ashcroft told him, “That’s okay, Dad. You don’t have to stand up to pray for me.” His father replied, “I’m not struggling to stand up. I’m struggling to kneel.”

His father was about to kneel in intercessory prayer for his son, this isn't my problem, I can and often pray for others, knowing or feeling what God wants me to pray. I'm not perfect at it by any means but it's easier for me than praying for myself. This is where I struggle to kneel. I get so lost in knowing what I'm supposed to be praying for. When it comes to myself I feel so much like I'm talking to a brick wall. So I give up, I quit. What is the disconnect, what is the breakdown? I know it has to be me because everyone and everything tells me that God is perfect and Holy so it can't be on his side. And when you know something inside you is broken, and it feels like it's been broken for so long, you try to fix it. But you can only go so long battling to fix something before you just grow weary of the fight. You start to wonder if you can maybe just figure out a way to live with the broken parts and the pain... the only cure is death and that is so far in the distance...

I want Peace, Joy, Patience, Perceverance, Freedom, Trust, JOY, Faith, Belief, Courage...

Oh Lord, I need to know you are there and you can hear me, show me how to break down the wall, you have to be on the other side because the alternative is unbearable.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Confessions of a Mental Martha

If you were to put a hidden camera on me you would never in a million years call me a "Martha". I'm prone to selfish laziness, plopping myself down with my computer, the TV or a book and just vegging. I can get busy when needed but it's not my bent to be productive constantly, ironically it's the thing I hate most about myself and the one thing I feel most powerless to change. It seems so overwhelming. On the flip side you also would not call me a "Mary" by any stretch of the imagination. I don't know how to just sit at the Masters feet. My mind is constantly racing through lists, ideas, made up conversations, and all manner of thing, in fact right now I’m having trouble concentrating and not running down some rabbit trail, and this is something I want to be doing.

The other day when a friend and I were talking about this very thing I coined a title for myself. I’m a “Mental Martha”. Even if you never see me do a single thing my mind is on the go. I truly don’t know how to just be still and listen, to soak in truth and I’m starting to realize there is an element of fear in this part of myself. I can admit that I’m scared that when I stop there won’t be anything to hear. That I’m defective in some way and God can’t get through to me. If I were to be truly honest there is still that little part that worries that I’m a goat and that when I get still the reason I won’t hear anything is because I’m not his.

For our first Sunday family church time this year Matt had us talking about being a new creation. We came up with making New Life Resolutions with the kids and I’ve been pondering on what mine should be and this is what I’ve decided. I’m going to work on becoming a “Physical Mary” first. I’m going to take those steps I know I need to do to be willing to get still, get quiet and see what happens. I know it’s going to take a lot of God’s patience and power to break through the habits I’ve set in place but I know that if I don’t do this now I’m going to continue to battle the defeat I feel when Satan gets his best weapons out. Prayerfully one day I’ll become a “Mental Mary” and be able to soak in his presence even when I’m actually in Martha mode.

As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, "Lord, don't you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!" "Martha, Martha," the Lord answered, "you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her." Luke 10: 38-42