Do you keep a journal?
I started a diary last week, though it's more of a 21st century journal. Basically, I use an app on my iPad that amounts to a Word document. It is nothing revolutionary, but I have found myself writing at least five entries a day. It is easy for me to pop open my iPad and begin writing after a meeting, after worship, to express a prayer, or remember a relevant thought for the newsletter. But this simple habit that is only a week old has opened my eyes in a new way. Looking back over one week of entries I see how often I acknowledged where God was working - working in me, in others, through conflict, and even in the mundane matters of youth sports and snow removal. When I cultivated the habit of reflection, I was much more aware of what was already going on. I will admit I often lack in this area, at a cost to my faith.
Over this past year people have expressed to me in a variety of ways their desire to know God. In matters of family, finances, personal conflict, and work load, you and others want God's wisdom and direction. These are righteous desires. Yet, what I find myself often saying to folks is, 'God is not the problem'. You are. I am. We all are. We all feel like we lack God's wisdom and direction if we do not cultivate the habits of listening, reflection, prayer, and worship. We cannot speed date our way to knowing God. We ought not be shocked that we feel as if God is distant when the habits of the heart that belong to him are not lived.
But as I was reminded this week, and I know it from my own failure, a personal relationship with God is a cumulative experience. The more we listen, worship, and study His word, the more we begin to see his work all around us. It's not as if God withdrew himself from us - ever. We are the ones who withdraw, wanting God on our terms, then blaming Him when we aren't trained to see Him. Yet there is good news. REALLY good news. It doesn't have to stay that way.
Today is the perfect day to begin to see God at work all around you. In prayer and worship, reflection and scripture, journaling and talking to a friend- these habits of the heart wake us up inside and give us eyes to see what God is already doing all around us. You do not need to wait on an iPad app to draw closer to God. You simply need to give God a willing heart that is seeking him in intentional ways.
One of the intentional ways we open ourselves to God is weekly worship. This Sunday we continue in our series "It's (Not) Personal." We will build off the powerful message we heard from Roger Jenks last Sunday and explore what it means to be our created-in-the-image-of-God self when we could potentially meltdown. I look forward to seeing you this Sunday at 9:30 or 11 AM.
Since there is actually no snow forecasted (at the moment) for Sunday, why not invite a friend to come with you?