Prayer for March 28, 2022
Posted On March 28, 2022
Prayer for March 28, 2022: Please pray with me. God of movement, move within us. Your Spirit flows through, help us to make room within us for your Spirit. Often the Spirit doesn’t match our plans. Are we so concerned with having everything under control, especially our control, that we push your Spirit out of the way? Help us to let go of perfection and instead notice what you are already up to – that your ways are not our ways. But your ways are always better than our ways. Move through us. Amen.
Call to Action: How is the Spirit moving in your life? Do you notice? Or are you too busy making sure your own way keeps moving forward? Make room for God.
How is the Spirit moving in me?
I have a number of ideas about that, but few clear conclusions.
This may seem wide for an answer, but if you will indulge me…
One of the personal highlights in my life came my senior year of high school. For three years, I was NOT one of the popular kids. At best I was a fly on the wall. I think I managed to be one of the “cool” kids – at least in some quarters, but that was a delicate thing always on the slippery slope of nerditity. I certainly was NOT athletic, which was the main ticket to ride for cool.
But my senior year, I signed up for journalism. It was a lark. It was the lesser of three or four evils, I thought at the time. I really had NO confidence in the decision. I didn’t know the teacher personally, but I already didn’t think I would like her. I had three days to change my mind, and I planned on reassessing at the end of that grace period.
My suspicions kept growing until the moment of truth when the final decision had to be made. On that day, the teacher asked for a volunteer for a special writing assignment, and I was practically the last student in the room still unassigned, but something about her proposal sounded curious to me, and I raised my hand.
By Christmas time, I was the most popular writer in the history of our school paper, kids wrote letters to the editor asking to cut other parts of the paper out and publish more of mine, AND I found myself soaking in hot tubs on weekends with cheerleaders and jocks.
I didn’t become the most popular kid in school, but I certainly got in league with those who were!
Well, that is a distant memory now. I no longer value it the same I once did. I don’t seek popularity (but then I wasn’t seeking it then either). But something bigger than me happened to me and through me – even despite me. Who knew a kid could get popular in school with pen and paper??? That wasn’t even an idea at the time.
I don’t believe the Spirit of God made me popular my senior year – per se. If that was God’s doing, and if it had a divine purpose, popularity was not the point, but the measure. He got my attention by doing his thing in my life.
These days, I study Joseph in prison in Egypt. I spend a LOT of meditative time there with him. The text says God was with him in prison. I don’t think that means Joe felt particularly joyful about that. His personal dreams were crushed. In every passing year there, they became pulverized in dust. He never quite died, as in his heartbeat stopped, but his life became a living death. He was buried, grieved as dead, and all but forgotten there for years on end.
I am sure that if Joe had had a high school guidance counselor, this career path was not in the manual. I think Joe felt desperately alone. Maybe not, but that encounter with the baker and the cup bearer has all the earmarks of personal desperation in it to me. (“Please, please, please! Remember me when you get out!!!)
The dreams he interpreted came true, and at one level, he might be buoyed thinking: Wow! I can successfully interpret a dream! My old dreams of self-aggrandizement still have hope!
But I don’t think that is what he thought, nor do I think that would be godly thinking. I figure he felt a bit scorned – or fought the feeling. I can easily imagine Joe thinking: Wow! I interpret THEIR dreams, and they come true…. Why not mine?
And that thing he said to the cup bearer, “Please, Remember me when you get out….” is just hanging there in the pregnant pause with desperation.
But I have come to see the bread and wine in that story. The baker bakes bread and the cup bearer pours wine. In God’s hands, that’s Body and Blood. Suddenly, I see Jesus in prison with Joe despite Joe’s feelings, ministering to him. I can here the echoes of Joe’s plea to “Remember me” in Jesus’s instruction: Do THIS in remembrance of me.
By the time Joe’s dreams of “self-aggrandizement” come true, they really are no longer Self-aggrandizing. Joe’s dreams come true, alright, but his life is NOTHING like he thought it would be when he dreamed it. On the other hand, his life points us to God at every level.
I promise you, my life is NOTHING like my high school guidance counselor directed. Even my degree plan counselor at Christian university did not imagine the path I am on. And in fact, just calling it a path at all sounds like too much faith. It looks and feels far more like a dead end with a college loan to pay for it instead.
But here I wait. And I, like Job, know my redeemer lives.
God made me popular once a long time ago. I wasn’t even seeking it. And I am certain I had no path through which I could have engineered it. But he got my attention. And so I wait.