Where do the words come from?
the ones in the dark
not the ones from the darkness
but the writing on the page
that is mine
though I can’t see the hand writing
or the words as they shape.
A whole thought,
scribbled on a page
because I must catch them.
Catch them somewhere.
Not to hold them hostage
but to hold them up.
To look at them glisten
in the light
of a new day.
Run to catch up
Change the world
rule the world
you go ahead
I’ll stay here.
you go on
The disciples asked Jesus, “Teach us to pray,” but was that what they really wanted? To learn how to pray? Or was their request really, as Jesus knew, for Him to teach them to listen?
What if what we call the “Lord’s prayer” or the “Our Father” isn’t just an outline for how we “should pray” or the format for the “perfect theological prayer” but the kindness of God showing us how to reach Him? And a way to show others how to reach Him?
Recently, I was caught up short when I read a Sports Illustrated piece about Lauren Holiday, one of the members of the World Cup winning US Women’s soccer team. It was called Going Out on Top. She surprised most everyone by announcing her retirement at the age of 27. Why? In this wonderful article by Jeff Kassouf, Holiday explains,
“I’ve been praying about it for a couple years now and really just this last year, it was so clear to me,” she said. “I had so much clarity about it. I knew that I wanted to give my all to the World Cup. I wanted to be able to say that I gave it my all to fulfill the final dream of winning the World Cup and I feel like I did that. Even if we wouldn’t have won, I felt very comfortable in my decision. I feel like God had led me to that decision, so I was ready either way.”
So… she prayed for a long time and it was clear she should retire. God showed her this when she listened to God in prayer.
Can you imagine listening to God in the midst of the physical, mental and emotional grind of World Cup preparation? Amid all of the media, the teammates, the fans, and the coaches all yelling, to listen deeply? I imagine there were many voices, including the one tempting comfort, “You’re retiring soon, don’t worry about it. Just take it easy.”
That’s not the voice Lauren heard when she listened, or at least not the one she chose to follow. She heard, “Play for My Glory and all will be well.” True, they won, and the world thinks all is well. But for Lauren, playing was Glory: the outcome she had given to God. Her decision for a life course did not rest on winning or losing. Ironically, having the decision made probably boosted her to play her very best.
Holiday’s story, and her wonderful sharing of the truth without agenda or podium, leaves me speechless — and listening, for myself and for my children. If they were faced, as they will be, with BIG decisions, life-changing moments, and huge round-abouts, would they choose prayer?
Have I done more than instilled in them the words of the Lord’s prayer?
Have I helped them listen under the words?
Have I shown them the calm in the silence after the question?
Have I encouraged them to trust in the voice that speaks in that silence?
Have I been Christ to them?
How powerful is that on-going conversation with God about how to lead life. He doesn’t ask that we trust and obey, only that we listen and pray. That’s how we will come to trust the Voice that speaks completely for our good. That is not just the voice of reason but the Voice of Life itself.
Oh Loving God, how kind you are to give us more than we ask, by offering all that we need.
Who says the Bible is an outdated book that doesn’t speak to our current circumstances??
From Acts 2:42-47, we read, (with some modifications) …
The Fellowship of the Believers
They devoted themselves to the coaches’ teaching and to their teammates, to the breaking of carbs, proteins and fats in moderation and to petition, imploring and appeal for a World Cup win. Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the players. The roster of 23 were together and had everything in common, when they were called into the camp. They relinquished property and possessions to compete for a starting spot and supported anyone who needed encouragement. Every day they continued to meet together on the fields and in the gym. They broke bread in their hotels and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God, friends, family and fans and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being inspired to #Believe. ~ Acts 2:42-47
May the Lord forgive my boldness, to read His word into our ways.
Congratulations to the 15ers, champions all.