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Me Time

The very fact that we can make frequent and open contact with a holy God is always a thing of comfort to me, but it is hard for me to fathom the degree of love and grace that so openly welcomes sinners into the presence of the holy and mighty God of the Universe! Jesus was always very forthright in his reminders to his disciples about prayer, or conversation with God - first in his instruction to the disciples about "how to" pray (we call that the Lord's Prayer), and in his reminders that God is not to be "bargained with" in prayer. It is not a "you do this for me" and "I will do this for you" kind of contact, as we are so accustomed to in many business and day-to-day dealings these days. It is a direct, ask what you need type of relationship - but God isn't just there for our every whim and fancy. When we are in the position of bargaining, we are saying we have something "worth" trading or bargaining for. Either our price is what the owner of the item really can "get by" with, or the advantage of having what we are trading is something to be desired by the owner of the item. God has way more than we could ever offer and we need so much more than we are capable of ever offering in return!

"Don't bargain with God. Be direct. Ask for what you need. This isn't a cat-and-mouse, hide-and-seek game we're in. If your child asks for bread, do you trick him with sawdust? If he asks for fish, do you scare him with a live snake on his plate? As bad as you are, you wouldn't think of such a thing. You're at least decent to your own children. So don't you think the God who conceived you in love will be even better?" (Matthew 7:7-11)

We come to God with a whole lot of needs and not much else. God isn't looking for us to bring him something as a "trade" in order to receive his blessing - he just wants us to fall so totally in love with him that we enjoy spending the time with him. The "side benefit" of that time with him is often the blessing! Amazing how that works, isn't it? We fall in love with him, spending more and more time with him, and in return we experience way more from the relationship than we ever knew was possible. Even more amazingly, we experience things we never even knew we had need of in our lives in the first place! Being direct for some people is easier than it is for others. They may have been raised in a home that actually made this an expectation. Yet for most of us, being direct was not the expectation and often was taken as a little bit of an affront - we may have been viewed as being "too" direct. So, we learned to "skirt" the real intention of our actions or requests with subtle "clues" and "little bargains" that would eventually get us what we hoped for. We learned to "mask" our intent because we didn't think we had much hope of getting whatever it was we needed if we were open and direct about it.

Being direct is simply proceeding by the shortest course - in other word, you get to the crux of what you want to express, not mincing words or hiding behind a huge display of words. God actually doesn't mind that his children are that open with him. He wants us to experience that total freedom of expression - even if the thing being expressed is disappointment, fear, frustration, or doubt. God can work with that kind of "directness" much more than he can our "hiding behind" a huge display of words! Contact with God is the best when it is by the shortest course possible! Whenever we put up "obstacles" to that access - like the idea that we have not "performed" well today, so God doesn't want to hear from us until we get our act together - we are doing ourselves the most harm! God doesn't need our perfection - he needs our heart. He doesn't reward our "perfect performance" - he rewards our commitment and our openness. I am a performance kind of person - it is true. I like to do well in life, but truth be told, I miss the mark WAY more than I hit it! I am not all that good and most of my friends know it!  The totally good news is that I don't have to hide behind my words when I approach God - I can be direct about my need for forgiveness, my help with overcoming my 'issues', and the confident expectation he will realize my heart is so totally in love with him.

Today is a fresh day for "direct" and "open" contact with God. Don't let anything be an obstacle to keep you from that. In fact, maybe you have never discovered the "shortest course" to his feet - it is on your knees! So, fall down on those knees, or just crawl right up into his lap, open up your heart, and enjoy that time with him today. You won't regret that "contact"! In fact, you may just find that the shortest trip to realizing the thing you needed most wasn't really what you thought you needed in the first place! It may just be you needed a little more "me time" with him! Just sayin!

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