Category Archives: prayer journal

Commitment prayer experiment – day 21

Challenge to Commitment

You don’t really know what’s in you, until it’s tested. Or in other words, “Under pressure, the real comes out.”

I have a small circumstance that I am pretty sure was a test of something that I claim to believe. I say to professional educators, to youth ministry people, and to parents all the time that students have different strengths, ways of learning…Some who are so disinterested in the “classroom” setting  are curious, tenacious learners in other venues. I’m thinking of this young man who is so getting under my classroom teacher skin right now. He is plenty bright. But he can’t stand school style learning. He totally tunes it out. He plays, sings, fiddles around. At best, he sleeps. He drives me crazy. It is total “blasphemy” in my “sacrosanct ” view of classroom. I so wanted to just embarrass him the other day. His complacency in the face of information, in my mind, important information, so angered me. I made myself breathe and not react to him.

I have a policy which I am trying to expand in the earth about  pulling forward students into what they have (consciously or unconsciously ) dreamed to be. I try not to push. Pushing doesn’t work. They don’t take ownership in the learning, so that it will continue, apart from me and the consequences I might employ. I had just talked this idea up in a significant way . I breathed deep and stepped back from the room. I tried to see the room as  God might. “Who was He working in, on, at that moment? Lot’s of children slept. Even some good students. But others sat leaning forward – drinking in what they were seeing, hearing. Their minds were digging into themselves, questioning their responsibility to what they were seeing.

God was warning me to say quiet and true to what He had shown me about teaching/training. “If you yell, or even in any way disturb the sleeping, the doodling, etc., you will break this suspended moment. Trust me.” I am so glad that I did. Later some came and talked to me about what happened in them, while the not tender to such, slept.

The next day, God brought a memory to my mind  about the young man whose disinterest so distressed me. We had this huge problem to solve for Homecoming.   It was a mechanical, structural problem. I was clueless, as were most of us, as to how we should even begin to address it. He spent hours and  hours working, reworking  answers to our needs. He came early, left later than most of us every time. He cleaned up after everyone. He led us through that process. He is a good man in the making. I am not going to  let his giddiness at almost being free from claustrophobic classroom settings, make me forget who he is, and how he employs his given abilities to learn.

I think that I passed the test. And, I am more sure now than I was about the validity of my theory.

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Waiting

We wait for trains and planes and buses…because we know that they are coming…to where we are, to take us where it is we need to go.

In like manner, I am learning to wait on God.

I was thinking about our recent trip to Orlando. Mrs.Pickett, Mrs. Spinks and I got to go with the seniors on their trip. It was a great time. It’s funny, most of our awake time, our minutes, were spent waiting. Waiting on the plane’s departure, waiting for a bus, waiting for our keys, waiting for another bus, waiting for our tickets, waiting for admission, waiting to ride, waiting to eat; you get the picture.

If you were to ask me to detail our trip for you, I would share incidents: a fulfilling moment on the flight – completing the crossword ( Margaret is a mean crossword worker), feeling the travel “rush” as we all pressed through the airport, the  exuberance of singing for the happy passengers as we made our way to the hotel, the “clulunk” of the turnstile, the sound of the “many waters” language all about us, the thrill of free-fall and the delight in children’s eyes.

There are pages of such detail, all moments to recount: Hilarious forays, adventuresome romps through crowds, rain dancing and sugar high skipping; all the things that make a trip a tale.

But, if you asked me what I gained, what has remained in me, I will speak not of experience, but of tender, easily unnoticed exchange.

I stood in line to enter experience with them all. In our standing, sitting, lying about the cattle chutes together, we were more joined. These kids that I liked, respected, even those that I wanted to jack slap many school days…I came to love. There is lots of time to fill in lines and not much room to do so. It’s close quarters. With so many strangers about, we, not so much so, became close companions. Children who barely spoke to me in the halls let me cushion and provision the time together. Some leaned on me, some snuck “I don’t really think you are so bad” glances my way, a few even reached over in some tender way to quietly love on me…  All of them, let me love them.

That is what waiting is for..is about. Nowhere to go, yet. No way to move on, yet. It’s chosen close quarters, carved out against so much that is unfamiliar and unknown.

Waiting in prayer is the place, the narrow, chute-like place, that we let God be as close as He is.

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INOCULATION -prayer experiment day 16

Inoculation

It is the situation of the south. I teach the most inoculated children on the planet. They have had enough pseudo-Jesus that they  have created anti-bodies to the death that His living in us brings… So many did not get a genuine infection from a carrier that produced infection and symptom and ultimately death. They got inoculated. Inoculations aren’t full blown Jesus, they are a man-made serum that mimics Jesus and fools the body into producing anti-bodies. A good dose of these just about ensures one won’t be part of the Body of Christ, that thing that lays down and dies that others might live…unless one desperately pursues it.  It’s a sad state.

So, I can think of the pseudo-dis-ease as an armor against Christ. A shield, a protection and cover from the piercing ( dis-easing) nature of His life lived. But armor has chinks, vaccinated people manage to get the actual disease they were inoculated against all the time, if the disease is virulent enough and they are made weak enough. It happens.

So how do we help make that happen? We weaken their anti-bodies. We show them the Body in deed, we live it as clearly before them as we can. We share the real with them, by breathing the same air as them, sharing our supply, coming close. And we pray that God would find His way to invade and make habitation in the small places in them not yet tooled against Him. So that He can spread from that unfortified ground, systemically as well.

I am not an anti-inoculationist in the natural.  But, brother, am I ever in the spirit.

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Daily Bread – Prayer Experiment – Day 15

Daily Bread represents what we physically need. God telling us to pray that HE would relate to us through our incarnate bodies as well as our spirits validates our matter. God is about the natural. He came in the flesh. He redeemed all matter and we as sons and daughters are to work for the redemption of all things in Christ. Matter matters to God. He is the incarnational God. My mentor used to tell us: God’s truth incarnates itself. And God’s answer to every problem is always to send a son (daughter). That’s heavy stuff but exactly what we have been learning in this experiment.

I have needs to live: air and water and food and shelter. To grow and flourish, flower and reproduce I need parents and friends and mentors and children. God made us with a need for Him and each other.

Jesus is what we need spiritually and we His body on earth are what we need physically. (Parent and friend and mentor and child) Jesus told us to care for and feed, shelter and nourish, protect and defend, His sheep. God is still aware of man’s every problem – difficulty – and He has made solution for such in Christ and His body.

Bread – Christ is bread broken and we are the hands that share it.

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Excuses – Prayer Experiment- day 14

Excuses:

We all make excuses to forestall change. Somehow humanity finds such comfort in the known. The worst known thing is often trumped by our fear of the least bit of change. We are strange ducks. What is this psychosis?

Where does it comes from? I’m no psychologist. But it seems so common to man. I’ve seen it rule my life. It may relate to some sense of control. It may have something to do with our pursuit of Godhood: “Knowing all is good. Full knowledge is the thing.” To which God responds, “I didn’t wire you for such. It is too much for you…to strapping, to weighty for the tenderness of your frame. You cannot bear such.”

I think we should pray that excuses would be exposed not just singularly, but in totum…as impediment to something better, something more, something good.

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Vanity – Prayer Experiment – day 13

Vanity:

The definition listed first for vanity concerns pride or a trust in one’s own achievement or ability. But vanity also means a hollowness, a deception – it is something that is not what it could or should be.

These seem so very related to me. Someone told me a million years ago that pride is just fear turned inside out. I know that in my life my pride was a cover for my inadequacy. It was my fear of not being, in reality, enough. Knowing that has helped me so much. It helps me to pray for Knuckle- Heads, prideful, stubborn souls … who are posturing in so many of the ways that I did, and sometimes still do. It takes the offense from the situation. It shows me the pathetic, to be pitied place that they reside – in fear.

I try to pray for those individuals as they cross my path or as God brings them to my mind. I try to make myself not long react to their grating ways…but to see them as they are: afraid. It is so much easier to work for the rescue of the afraid, the one who needs and knows. So I ascribe that fear to them, I dress them in its attire, and then pray.

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Too Easily Pleased – Prayer Experiment- day 12

Too Easily Pleased:
I’m not sure that I thought that God’s ideas for me were bad. I think that I just didn’t understand much about who I really was made to be – because I didn’t have those conversations (out-loud) with people or God . I listened to what my parents said about work and success. I heard what they seemed to value. I didn’t have conversations like “What do you think that I would be good at?” So much seems obvious looking back – so clear to one outside of me, who knew me. But I didn’t ask much for help to see better what God might have envisioned in designing me. Help was there. I didn’t avail myself. Because – I feared the answers would not be the ones expected of me, whether that expectation was real or imagined. And I definitely did not consult God about such…not that I didn’t believe in God /Christ or count myself a Christian, it’s just because following His direction was still an unknown.
I hope that I have walked a few of God’s plans for me out. I sense a new horizon. A latter work developing, one that I was in no way prepared to do/be before or am I actually yet. I cannot  see around that corner, but I see the corner.
I see nothing to avoid, but much to prepare for. I see a lot of shaking in me and my need to allow God to fill in some place still agape.

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