Thursday, October 8, 2009

When it Comes to Eternity, Timing Might be Everything

It may be my imagination, but it seems lately I’ve become aware of the quiet moving of God in my life in a new way. I don’t know if He’s moving in a new way, or I’m just becoming aware of it. But it’s intriguing, and something I want to follow up on.

Often, these days, when I’m working at the computer, or out and about around town, I get a sudden, sweet urge to go to prayer in a more focused way.

The kind of prayer I’m drawn to in these moments is different than the more or less continual chatter I bombard Him with all day long—the kind that often degrades into self-talk, because I’ve become more focused on my problems than the One I’m talking to about them.

These moments are delicate, so fleeting that they’re gone almost as soon as I realize they’ve come. Kind of like butterflies landing on your shoulder. And I’ve found they totally evaporate when they come and I think to myself, “Hmm. That’s nice. I’m going to go to prayer as soon as I finish this article, or when I get home from the store.” When the article is finished, or the groceries are in the fridge, I don’t feel the same sweet urgency, and my prayer times, when I manage to fit them into my schedule, become life-less.

Why is this? Maybe, in these brief, sweet times, I’m catching the crest of the wave of a kairos moment—a spiritually significant, eternal “moment” (there are no moments in eternity but I have no other words to express it), and if I don’t hop on the surfboard and get on top of that wave I’ll miss the excitement, and the spiritual benefits, of an exhilarating experience with God.

Even more sobering, I might miss a chance to create, in prayer, a spiritually significant moment in the life (or the eternity) of someone for whom God is asking me to intercede.

I’ve decided I’m not satisfied with lifeless prayer times any more—the kind that feel like I’ve called the meeting, and God is taking His time showing up. And I’m realizing something new about obedience: it needs to be instant. I need to be instant in my response to these brief promptings or they will go away.

For some time now God has been teaching me that I need to be restfully available to Him, and instantly obedient. The first part of that admonition is easier for me now. I’ve learned to relax and let Him guide and prompt. But I’m slower on the uptake of the prompts. This is (yet another) growing edge for me.

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