28 October, 2006

Engaging God: Hearing from your kids

My daughter is in college now. It's a good thing. I'm happy (aside from the occasional day when everything seems to pile in on me - well you know) and I'm happy that she is kicking butt on her new challenges.

It's funny, though. It is just exactly like the cartoons all say it will be. I only hear from her when she needs something.

Her needs are commendable. They are light, and she is flexible about them. She is frugal without being miserly toward herself, and I applaud her. I even love to hear that she needs something that I can provide. It is my joy to bring her joy.

The other day, though, I got a call from her. I braced myself. I always fear that something awful has happened, and that she needs something terrible, and that I won't be able help her. I never know what she might need, but I fear it anyway.

She was going to a movie.

She called me along the way. Just to chat. It was one of the high points of my month.

And so it is with our Father.

We can pray to Him for no better reason than to be with Him. And when we do, we can be assured that we have given Him great cause for joy. He rejoices when one sheep returns to Him, and He rejoices every single time we come back to Him. He loves us, and He loves to hear our voices.

The plural in that last sentence is more than significant to me. That plural is actually the subject of this post. Consider that it is our voices that He loves to hear. Not my voice and your voice spratley, but our voices joined together. Consider that when we gather, we have the opportunity to do more than sing, listen and learn. We have the opportunity to share our love, our passion.

When a tennis bud and I meet, we dispense with discussion of the weather and the kids in moments. Soon we are talking about Federer (who won Madrid handily, btw,) injuries, and points we wish someone had been watching. Nobody has to make us talk about tennis! Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.

How much does that experience remind you of your last trip to church?

Is it a testimony to lukewarmness that we don't talk of Him incessantly from the moment we hit the church doors? Or is it a testimony to our low training?

With better training, would we talk of Him more? Would we talk to Him more?


If I say that we should talk to God without requesting anything of Him, what do you think of saying?

Praise, right? We think of praising Him for what He has done for us. The wonders of the world around us. The beautiful provision He has made for us every day of our lives. The constant care He takes of us. The way that He came and suffered to save us. The fact that we are redeemed because of all He did.

Amen. This is a good thing.

But what if I say we should talk to God without mentioning ourselves at all, not as needy, and not even as blessed. What would you think of saying then?

Have you ever been taught to pray without mentioning yourself? I hadn't. My experience is not universal. If I have learned anything in this year of blogging, it is that everyone has learned something different in their pursuit of God. :-) I went 20 years as a Christian without ever having heard anyone mention such a thing. Now, I cannot imagine living without it.

Once, for a few years, I was in a group that regularly prayed together without ever mentioning themselves. It was food in the desert, and manna in the wilderness. For a few minutes the world faded away, and the taste of heaven was everywhere.

My little girl called the other night, and nothing else mattered.

I suspect our Father feels a lot the same.


japhy said...

At Easter this past year, at confession, I admitted I was embarrassed that I didn't pray often, and when I did pray, I didn't think I prayed "well". I recently figured out how to explain the situation.

I have no problem talking about Christianity or writing reflections and essays -- my blog and my comments at other blogs should testify to that -- but I never seemed to be able to concentrate long enough to talk to God the way I knew I should. And it was because I was trying to talk to God the way I write or speak about Christianity. It's like reading a book and then trying to talk to the author about it: he stands there, nodding, thinking to himself "yeah, I know, I wrote it".

So instead of trying to wax poetic with God, I am learning to speak with God in humility and listen to Him in awe.

Karen said...

Awesome post, CP. I gab with God in the car, since I seem to be in it so much. You're so right. . .He wants us to be with Him even when we don't "need" anything, and He loves to provide for us, just like we do with our kids. My 20 yr old "son" has been hanging around; nestling in before he becomes a dad and joins the army. He doesn't "want" anything; he just wants to "be" with us for a bit.

Milly said...

I did just talk to God when I lived in the woods then when I lived in that little house in Miami. I now find it more difficult being a mom, a wife, working and in the city. It’s a great reminder to just “Be” with Him.

Glad your Little called to talk.

Andreia said...

Beautiful Kevin! Glad to hear she is well and you have said so much here!

codepoke said...


All this encouragement. I just might post more like this. :-)

Maeghan said...

All this encouragement. I just might post more like this.

You should :) once in awhile - but I'd look fwd to your 30-page posts too =D

I feel exactly like Japhy - I know that I don't pray enough and when I do I do not know what to say and when I say it, it is just "not good enough". Which is why I so love the psalms, it helps me to pray with the words of the psalmists.

But I suppose just like your daughter's call, a prayer of "just being with You" counts a lot. At least we don't just go to Him when we have problems.

Patchouli said...

I was thinking the same thing--at 3 a.m. when I awoke suddenly..just to talk. About what. Nothing...just to talk.

blestwithsons said...

My dad says I only call when dinner is on the table... You don't want to get in between that man and his dinner! ;-p

I'm glad she called man, that's awesome!