weekly theme #55 See…Judge…Act*
week containing the Sunday between November 13-19
My past week has been grueling. I have been in near-constant interaction with other believers, most whose hearts passionately want to serve God. It would seem that this should make my days a joy, but I failed to find extended, private time for conversation with God. God renews me in these times, and the absence of them was making me feel guilty, anxious, and irritable. However, today, hiding in my bedroom, I had an extended, private conversation with my Lord. He provided encouragement about our conversation, or lack of it, through scripture and the writings of others. I completely understand why Jesus “went away by himself for prayer”.
I’m entering another week like my last, but I’m taking a different approach to my time with Father. It must take a higher priority. My Father should govern my schedule rather than my schedule govern my interaction with father. I am responsible for making sure that happens; it is my choice. Yet even as I write these words, I know that I will not always find a lonely spot to talk to Father. Henri JM Nouwen proposes that real spirituality “makes us so alert and aware of the world around us that all that is and happens becomes part of our contemplation and meditation and invites us to a free and fearless response.” By that measure, I do not have real spirituality. And to be honest, I think I’ll always need times when I “get away” and be alone with Father. I admire Henri, but I am not him.
The title for this week, “See…Judge…Act” puzzled me. It wasn’t until today that it became clear; the middle word could be “Pray”. I must insert prayer between something I sense and the action I take in response to my perceptions. The prayer makes my judgment more aligned to a godly response. The title for me is “See…Pray to judge rightly…Act”. I’m not there yet, but I want to be.
*A Guide To Prayer For Ministers And Other Servants by Job and Shawchuck provided the scripture references and readings that inspired these reflections. I found this devotional to be the most heart changing of any I’ve used. It truly lives up to its title.