Wednesday, February 8, 2006

Dentist Apppointment 4:30 this Arvo

Something happened to me yesterday that was most unusual. I quite uncharacteristically forgot an appointment at the dentist. This is particularly unusual in that I don’t mind going to the dentist, as I think my dentist is exceptionally good. I rescheduled the appointment for later today, but then panicked. What if I forget it a second time, once is forgivable, but twice is unthinkable. I tried all sort of different things to remind me, from putting it on my screensaver, writing the appointment in my diary, on my hand and backwards on my forehead so that when I looked in the mirror in the morning I would remember. My heart goes back to all those Hebrew boys and girls who had to learn to write backwards. It was quite a challenge for me.

Where am I going with this? Well I was reminded of my efforts as I browsed through the pages of Rick Warrens purpose driven life. I came across this pertinent passage;

"The Bible tells us to pray all the time." How is it possible to do this? One way is to use "breath prayers" throughout the day, as many Christians have done through the Centuries. You choose a brief sentence or a simple phrase that can be repeated to Jesus in one breath: "you are with me." "I receive your grace." "I’m depending on you." You can also use a short phrase of scripture; "For me to live is Christ." "You will never leave me." "You are my God." Pray it as often as possible so it is rooted deep in your heart. Just be sure that your motive is to honour God, not control Him."

I know that I for one need to be reminded of God’s presence in the everyday and the ordinary. I need reminding that the world is bigger than what we can see feel smell and taste. As Paul quotes in Acts "In Him we live and move and have our being."


Anonymous said...

I'm just randomly going through blogs and your is quite encouraging. Today I just read a chapter in Ortberg's The Life You've always wanted and he was saying the as American Christians we need to slow down, his suggestions were amazing and I think I am going to have to employ them.

SmootherPrince said...

I regret that I have not read much of Ortbergs work. I certainly cannot speak on behalf of or for American Christians, but I do believe that We need to learn as the people of God what it means to rest in the finished work of Crist, to not be so doing focussed that we lose sight of whom we are doing it with.
We have so many programs and projects which we can happily spend our time doing, even really noble and Godly things such as encourage people to pray and study the Bible, but if we arent praying and reading the Bible for ourselves, we have missed the mark.

Ultimately we need to come to a point not where we slow down, but where we cease from our own striving altogether. I am not wanting to make light of this. It is a far more difficult process to let go and rest in God than it is filling our lives with activities and processes that revolve around Him. Yet I cannot deny that there is a voice inside me which calls me, and draws me toward intimacy with him, that sees churchianity as as fake as the sprigs of holly on the Christmas pudding. There is a part of me that wants deeply to participate in the life of God and let his life flow in and out and through me to those around me.

I think the numebr of pastors which end up burnt out testifies to this need to fully rely on God, because ultimately He is trustworthy.

In the end it is only Jesus who brings transformation, not Christians. And from my expoerience that takes place always one life at a time.

Anonymous said...

I read your post on praying contantly which is scriptural. I was quite surprised when I noticed you using a shortened version of a prayer method that I use. The only difference is that I quote the entire scripture when speaking God's Word into the stream of daily situations. Good Jesus blog going on - very balanced - love - warm feelings - ministry. Keep up the good work!

SmootherPrince said...

What has been on my heart lately are two ironies, one universal, and one personal.The first irpny I think may serve as a warning, and the second should serve as an encouragement.

The first is that the most religious people in the world, who had all the access to the information concerning the coming of the Messiah failed to recognise Him when he came.

The second irony is that the more God fearing, devout and Holy a person is, the less Godly they feel and the more acutely they are aware of their need of God, and the depravity of sin.