Hi there, God.
I wanted to take a minute to tell you that I realize you’ve probably grown a little sick of me lately.
Truth is, I have been talking to you more than I have during some previous seasons in life. (Apparently, having teenagers, aging parents and sick friends can have that effect on even a spiritual midget like me.)
But I’m realizing that I owe you an apology — because while I say I’ve been talking to you, I’ve really spent a lot more time talking at you.
I’ve told you a lot.
About what I want.
What I believe I need.
Even what – Lord, help me in my cluelessness – I believe that I deserve. (Thanks for not giving me that, God.)
Today, you reminded me that I’ve taken my focus off what’s important. I know I should be doggedly focused on what I should be doing – what you have called me to do. Instead of focusing on what I want, I should be focusing on how I can be of use to the world.
At the same time, I also should be focused more not just on what I should do, but who it is you want me to be – a person who gives sacrificially – of resources and time and
Some of that plays out in my professional work, God. I get caught up in comfort and what the salary is or isn’t, instead of thinking about where and how I can make the most difference in the world.
I also tend to get too focused on work – as though my difference-making is limited to the hours of 8-5. In doing that, I forget about the importance of serving you – and your people – both on the clock and off it.
I’ve been pretty picky about where I believe I should be of use, God. I’ve told you a lot lately about where I think I should go. What I should do. And how you really should do me a solid and make a thing or three happen.
Today, I heard a favorite song – one that I like so much that my friend Kimberly actually sang it at my wedding. (I know you know it, God. You were there. But for those who weren’t, it’s called “Daystar,” and my favorite version is by the Gaither Vocal Band. It’s total Old, White People Trying to be Semi-Cool in Church music, but for whatever reason I’ve never quite been able to help myself. I am a sucker for this song.)
“Lead me Lord, I’ll follow, anywhere you open up the door.
Let your word speak to me, show me what I’ve never seen before.
Lord I want to be your witness, so you can take what’s wrong and make it right.
Daystar shine down on me, let your love shine through me, in the night.”
I belted this song out with such conviction at 21, God. Even at 30. But now, in my forties? We’ve got bills, man. My kids eat a freakish amount of food. And their public school is always asking for $20. We absolutely bleed $20 bills, God.
And there’s not a clear end in sight. In four years, we expect to have our first child in college. And then the next year, we anticipate the second one joining her. Also, please don’t get me started on medical, dental and vision bills, God. Even with insurance, the bills are outrageous.
I realize these are teeny, tiny problems – if they are even problems at all. I’ve worked with so many children and families that have food anxiety. Have been homeless. Have absolutely no hope of ever earning a living wage. Despite my behavior, I know how fortunate I have been, and I know that really, I’ve been far more lucky than I deserve.
Really, God. I just plain don’t know how you put up with me.
You’ve always cared for me. You have always opened just the right door at just the right time – personally, professionally. With every move we’ve ever made, individually or as a family, you’ve been faithful.
And so I repent, God. I have been an absolute brat. I know that I need to return to the open, faith-filled pledge that I so comfortably made at 21. “Lead me Lord, I’ll follow, anywhere you open up the door. Let your word speak to me, show me what I’ve never seen before.”
Thanks for the iTunes-fueled reminder, God. And for your patience. Also thanks for those crazy, college-oriented, food bill-boosting kids of mine. I know what a privilege it is to even have them here with me to worry about. And I know they are on loan from you. Please know that I really do appreciate even having a mind and a voice to ask these questions of you.
Let’s talk again soon, ok?
I promise to continue working to make it a two-way conversation. And thanks again for not giving me what I deserve.