Posts Tagged With: prayer

A Commuter’s Prayer


Happy New Year everyone! 🙂

Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s talk about perseverance…

On my way to the office this morning, I used @waze as usual because it typically helps me plot a better course to my destination. Unfortunately, what Waze couldn’t know was that the road I was traveling on had flooded. It’s not always easy to tell how deep the water is, but as I’d soon find out, it was deep enough.

Deep enough that after quickly driving through it (because speed is always appropriate in the rain), my Cabrio with the little engine that could, simply couldn’t any longer. Waiting in line just shy of the 405N on ramp, the car puttered and summarily shut down. 😨

Mind you, it was pouring rain. I should mention that the car has no heat, so the windows were fogged over and I had soaked shoes after putting out the garbage cans in the rain before leaving my house.

I must admit that the thought of leaving the now familiar discomfort of my car, standing in the middle of the street, attempting to push what has become an oversized paper weight, under pelting rain was… not my idea of a good start to the day.

On top of this, for whatever reason, people think honking at a stalled vehicle is some sort of automotive prayer. So I had a choir of cars encouraging me with their blaring horns of intercession to do something other than sit there and cry. Which is what I probably would’ve done. But I’m not one to concede defeat so easily.

Instead, after a prayer of my own, I attempted to start the car, all the while believing that the engine would turn over and purr like a kitten. It was more like the gurgle of a garbage disposal, but I’d take it!

After a few starts and stops, I was back on the road in L.A. commuter traffic going a swift 15mph! 😃  And even though I arrived at the office 30 minutes later than I’d planned, the positive take-away is that I arrived, without needing a tow, or a push, or another car choir lamenting my obviously deliberate inconsideration.

Categories: humor, personal, stories | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Fair Trade


For the last few weeks, I have been… heavy. REALLY heavy. It hasn’t been a normal kind of heaviness either. This is an unfamiliar variety of encumbrance that I’ve never before experienced. I have been feeling the weight, not of the world, but of a life consisting of my multitudinous responsibilities, ongoing obligations, personal goals, interpersonal connections and work expectations, coupled with my undisguised exhaustion and noticeable (to me at least) vulnerabilities…  all on my recently more developed shoulders. :-/

As I was openly lamenting my burdens, my amazing wife (no seriously, she’s amazing) reminded me of the following scripture from Matthew 11…

“28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

And as we were praying together last night, I was overcome with gratitude for the invitation to shed this weight. To let it fall away. Not looking back at it. Not caring about its size, color or shape. But just knowing that once I’ve put it down, I can begin to walk away from it, in exchange for the Lord’s lightness and ease. It was in the immediacy of this moment I realized that as unbalanced and disproportionate as this may seem to me, as far as the Lord is concerned, it’s a fair trade. I really had to take it in… Jesus Holds

  • Giving him all the things that feel as if they will crush me under their collective weight = Fair Trade
  • Unloading all of my feelings of guilt, regret, unworthiness and insignificance = Fair Trade
  • Yielding those areas of my life over which (if I’m being honest) I have absolutely no control anyway = Fair Trade
  • Accepting the inequity of my load in exchange for His = Fair Trade
  • Salvation simply because He loves me = Fair Trade

I have been liberated.

 

“Lord I’m undone. I come to You. Show me Your face, Your spirit and truth. That I might worship free from my sin. I just want you.”Something New, Transparent

Categories: personal, religion | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

The Promise of Prayer


This past weekend my beloved wife was delivered some absolutely heartbreaking news. The husband of one of her friends died unexpectedly from a heart attack after coming home from work on Friday. The news was a shock to us both. He was relatively young. I’d guess around 40, if that. And he seemed to be the picture of health. He leaves behind a loving wife he’s known for more than 20 years, and four beautiful children ranging in age from 7 years to 7 months. I can only imagine the devastation they are experiencing.

I will say that it’s been more than a little unsettling to acknowledge all of the similarities between our two families. Not the least being the fact that he was an African American man around my age, with four children whose ages mirror nearly exactly the ages of our own four youngest. Our wives were planning to get our two families together so that he and I would finally get a chance to meet. *sigh*

Naturally, the desire to pray is stirred in many of us. We want to pray that she, her children and his extended family might find comfort and consolation in this difficult time. And so, I did. I stopped what I was doing, and I prayed for them.

Of course, the topic of prayer got me to wondering… how many times have we said to someone, “I will pray for you” only to find that we never set aside the time to actually pray? I’m not afraid to admit that I’ve done it. And I am pretty sure that this is true for a good number of other people as well. Don’t get me wrong though. I’m not saying we were misleading, that we had a lack of good intentions or that perhaps our statement was insincere. But the reality is that circumstances are often cited as the reason for not praying in that moment, when in truth, that moment may be the only one we’ll have.

It’s very sobering to think about the frailty of life and the idea that a mere second can separate life from death. So when it comes to prayer, don’t let your gesture become an empty promise or just some nice thing to say to someone who’s hurting. Instead, let it motivate you to action in the moment, that we might take advantage of every moment we are fortunate enough to be given.

So please join me in praying for Colleen Johnson and her family…

Categories: commentary, personal, religion, stories | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Recipe For Disaster


The other day while I was busy loading the dishwasher, my 16 month old son ambled into the kitchen to, among other things, shake the living daylights out of the bottom rack of the dishwasher. I gave him this puzzled expression which he answered with an ear to ear grin. After proceeding to tell him to stop and removing his hands, which I am convinced have magnets or some other sticky property to them, he turned around and grabbed hold of the spigot to the nearby water cooler. To my disbelief, with one hand he leaned in and began pulling on it until it threatened to fall over on top of him, all the while smiling up at me with this “Watch this, Dad!” look on his face.

Now, I didn’t scold him or yell at him because I know that this is just par for the course with toddlers. What vexed my mind was the fact that destruction is the default setting for children. At every opportunity Avery is plotting (as much as a toddler can plot) his next target. He yanks down tablecloths. Throws toys in the toilet. Smacks the picture window in the living room. Mashes the keyboard on my laptop. Bangs on the piano with balled up fists. Pulls every single baby wipe out of the container. And, if allowed, will unravel the toilet paper roll until it sits in a gloriously unruly pile on the floor.

Why can’t a child’s default be the restoration of chaos? Wouldn’t it be awesome if at every turn kids were turning off lights, picking up toys or unloading the dishwasher? But no… these things have to be taught. The process of which requires repetition, demonstration and ongoing discussion. Even so, some kids STILL don’t seem to get it. There are certain things I’ve come to expect of a toddler that I don’t think I should still have to worry about with my teenage boys. While they’ve mastered taking out the trash, they still don’t seem to mind sleeping a bedroom so funky and piled with clothes that you’d need a map just to get from the door to the closet.

Someday all of my children will know the joy of keeping things clean and taking care of their possessions. Well, at least that’s my prayer. Until then, a man can dream. And in the meantime, I’ll keep rescuing my youngest son from any potential self-inflicted calamity.

Categories: humor, personal, stories | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: