Sunday, July 3, 2011

A short walk on a long journey


It is Sunday morning and I drive to my church to participate in a prayer walk. Despite it being summer, I chose to walk around outside the church. It was early enough that the heat was not quite oppressive. At first I just followed the sidewalk around to the side of the church I had not walked upon before. The path led across the outer edges of our pastors offices and back into a side door of the church. Bordering the path however was a patch of green grass that spread out to meet an expanse of woods.
The walkway was short and my prayer was not done, so I carried on. Walking and praying and trying to forget that anyone watching through windows or from afar, might wonder if I am ok. Distracted by a soft breeze that came off of the wooded forest I sat silently for a moment and stared out into the mysterious wooded area.
I then walked the paved way again, much slower this time. Instead of looking out, I looked down. I noticed a pair of glasses folded on the grass, a little misshapen. First I thought, "How sad, someone lost their glasses." Then my mind slowed again and focused on the glasses. Then I let these misshapen glasses shape my prayer.
Dear Lord, give me eyes to see. Give our church leaders and congregation eyes to see. Help us stay fixed upon your face, your kingdom. Keep our eyes open to you.
A few steps further and I noticed a mushroom. This white fungus growing out of the ground. Dear Lord, help us to remove the things in our hearts and lives that have grown in the places where you should dwell and help us cast out and down, any thing that offends you, Lord so that we may please you.
I had taken a few more steps and noticed some bright red berries on the tree that reached from the edge of the woods and stopped just short of the paved path. Dear Lord, thank you for always providing what we need. You give us our daily bread. You provide for us spiritually, emotionally and physically. Dear Lord, help us bear fruit and more fruit. The fruit of your spirit which is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control.
I looked at the remainder of the path's edge. There was nothing more to see. I lifted my eyes up to the wooded area. The mystery of the wooded area was enticing. It seemed like there could be fun and adventure out in those woods. But with all the adventure, there was also danger. I continued on the paved way. I prayed, Lord, show me your way, teach me your path. Direct us, guide us,and lead us, so that we may never stray from you.
I rounded the corner, back in the plain view of all who would enter the church. I concluded my prayer and went inside.
This experience left me with an amazing peace and some revelation. Sometimes we do not know what to pray and God will give us the words. Sometimes we are too busy, walking too fast that we do not realize exactly which path we are on and where it is headed. Sometimes we are on the right path, but moving too fast that we are missing exactly what God wants us to see. Sometimes if we slow down, we can see what God wants us to see. And of course, there are many ways that seem tempting, adventurous, and inviting. But there is only one way that has been paved to us by Christ Jesus. It is the the way, the truth and the life that leads us to our Heavenly Father.
So whether your are walking an early morning on a short path, driving to work, or in a quiet room at home or work,God meets us where we are as we seek Him in prayer. Are you looking for Him?