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Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Aiming on the Fly

John Maxwell reminds us that our daily agenda is what determines where it is we will be pointed that day. We start well, but do we always finish the same course we started? If you work in an environment like I do, you probably will answer that one as a resounding "NO". Our healthcare environment might allow us to "plan" our day one way, but the demands of the day can change at breakneck speed. We have to be "flexible" in our aim, but still maintain some semblance of pursuing that aim. In our jobs, this might be okay - in the direction our life takes emotionally, spiritually, and within relationships - that might just be a different story.

Trust the Lord completely, and don’t depend on your own knowledge. With every step you take, think about what he wants, and he will help you go the right way. (Proverbs 3:5-6 ERV)


With every step we take, we have a choice - we can choose what seems best to us, or we can take a microsecond to just possibly reach out to God for his wisdom in the matter. Too many times, people tell me they don't have time to wait on God - to take that time to consult him with their steps. I wonder how that is really working for them? They may never know just how much of God's knowledge they missed out on just because they didn't ask! The truth of the matter is that we don't need to fall to our knees, get ourselves "right" in an attitude of prayer, and then spend time there until God talks to us. While there are appropriate times for this type of contemplative reflection and fellowship with our heavenly Father, he is also right there in those microsecond prayers when we merely say to him, "This way or that?"

I believe this is what Paul had in mind when he reminds us to pray continually (I Thessalonians 5:16-18). It isn't that we need to be alone in our "Prayer Closet" - that place where we spend time with God - but that we live a life of continual contact with him. This may seem hard for some who have grown up in a little bit of a "religious" bent where the church you attended had specific prayers you prayed at certain times, or specific "formulas" you followed in "getting yourself right with God". I grew up Catholic, so I come from the background of "prayer books" and all those "ups and downs" of kneeling, rising, kneeling, rising of the church service. Don't get me wrong - I am not criticizing - but I didn't actually know WHY there was these requirements for prayer. I much preferred just getting real with God, telling him like it was, and being my real self with him. The "religious" part of me just didn't connect with him - but my genuine part did!

I think this is where God wants all of us to get to in our walk with him - the genuine part that leans heavily upon him, settling into a consistent and purposeful rhythm with him. It is as though he asks us to breathe him in and out - with each breath we take being a moment of contact with him. In terms of "praying purposefully" and allowing him to help direct our choices, I think we do this a whole lot more "on the fly" than we do in those "contemplative moments" we call prayer time! "On the fly" we find ourselves face-to-face with the things we need to have answers for in the here and now. Maybe we don't get all the answers, but we get a sense of the general direction we are to aim and then we move in that direction. God helps us because we remain aware of his presence with us all day long - not just in those quiet, contemplative moments. Just sayin!