So last night while reading my small group study (entitled (Crazy Love, by F. Chan, if you're interested in checking it out) I was convicted... I realized that I never really look forward to prayer time with God. It's as if I'm trying to squish him into those last few minutes of my day grudgingly, rather than filling my day with him joyfully and basking in his presence, as he's made clear I am most welcome to do. My cousin Ruth put it best when she said that if you try to fill a cup with rice and then stuff a rock into the same cup and shut the lid, the lid can't be fully shut most times, whereas if you put the rock in first, and then all the rice, the lid can be shut nicely most times without much effort. She said, "The rock is God, and the rice is EVERYTHING else. If you try to fit God into the end of your day, it's going to be quite an effort, whereas if you put him in first, oftentimes everything else molds nicely around him." That's really stuck with me. That and the reminder from Francis Chan that we shouldn't try to fill the space of our prayer time hastily with words, but rather we should take time to consider WHO we're speaking to and then, once our mind is firmly set in the place of awe and wonder where it rightly should be, only then should we enter his presence and converse with HIM. So this morning, when 6:45 rolled around on my clock, my eyes popped open and I thought, "should today be the day I start really giving him my time in the morning... should I commit to waking up early and spending time with him?"...
My next thought was (and I'm ashamed to admit this, but it's as bare and honest as I can be): "But I sacrificed sleep for Caleb for the last TWO years, and only just now I'm starting to really get that back. And I sacrifice my whole day for my family... my time, my effort, all serving them most of the day" (let me say this is a LIE I told myself, of course I have tons of ME time, but I always seem to feel rushed and hurried, and so it feels like very little, and so I made up this lie, like the martyr I was imagining myself as).
Next thing you know, a voice, not mine, appeared in my head. I know it wasn't mine, because it used the wrong tense. Normally, when I imagine God's thoughts, they are spoken from my point of veiw (i.e. "yes, you do still love me... I know your promises". This was different. I heard:
"But I sacrificed EVERYTHING for you."
Oh. Crap. I suck.
"You're so right God... so now what. What do I do with that time?"
I realized, as I realize now, I'm still not looking forward to that time. To waking before the break of day, and shaking off sleep not to entertain my own whims, but to spend time with him.
Is it really so much for God to ask for a half hour of my time? Do I really think that my days are about me, or that my purpose here is to entertain myself, comfort myself, or spend my time as I please?
And so tonight I asked God first for his forgiveness. Forgive me for not looking forward to time with you when so many have died or sacrificed all just to tell others about you. Forgive me for not loving you as I ought to. And then I asked that he change my heart. Mold it, shape it so that I yearn to spend time with YOU, Lord, and that all the spaces of my day I would want to fill with YOU. And I challenge you, reader, with the same. What are your priorities, how is your prayer life, and do you really know who you're talking to each time you sit down to pray, if you pray at all. I'm not sitting on a pedestal... as I said, I suck at this worship stuff, I just want you to think about your time with God, too. It's the most important relationship you'll ever have, and it's not about YOU. Just think on it, and feel free to tell me I suck if it makes you feel better :)