Thursday, November 29, 2012

Thoughtful About . . . Looking

The Prayer by William-Adolphe Bouguereau

 Two weeks ago I brought up callings. And in the responses I got, I realized that I probably should have used different terminology, because while what I've been thinking about does encompass that lofty idea of "my Calling," it's not just about that. It's about wherever we are right now.

I've been thinking a lot about the kind of society we've become. Everything is so instant these days, isn't it? From mashed potatoes to messaging. We expect answers fast, we expect results fast. And so when things take time--as in, pray for years and years kind of time--we often give up. A disconnect has formed between our input and our output--we see things all the time on the news that makes us go, "Wow, something should be done!" ... But we don't really know what to do about it. 

As I've pondered this and looked to history (as we all know I always do, LOL) for answers, I really think the key is to change our perspective. It needs to start with our prayers--and I'll be honest, this is a tough one for me. I say prayers on the fly as needs are presented, but so rarely do I find a quiet time to seek the Lord before I hear the needs, independently of specific requests. Which I need to fix. Because let's face it, who wants to be in a relationship where you only talk when you need something? Sigh. Not me.

So I'm making an effort. And as I do, I'm adding a new prayer. It's pretty simple. It just says, "Show me how to serve today, Lord."

Now, this hasn't resulted in any crystalline echoes of "Go here and do this life-altering thing." To be expected. Because if I want to help a change come, in my life or my church or my community, I have to start with the little things, the inside things. I have to listen to those whispers that show me first how to be a good wife, a good mom, a good me.

And then...then I have to look. Look for the path He wants me trodding. Look for ways to help. Look for ways to serve. I can't expect to just go on with my everyday life until some perfect opportunity to show the love of the Lord appears before me. Oh, those will come every now and then. But if I go out seeking? If I go through each day looking for ways to help others? If I think about that before I think about me? If we all do? 

Hmm. Doesn't it just make you wonder what might happen?

I'm going to be thinking a lot about this over the next few months, and I'm going to be talking to people far better at it than I, people who have made a real, quiet difference in the lives of others. I'm going to be sharing these stories in a monthly column in Book Fun Magazine, and I'm going to be praying. Praying that we all push the "pause" button. Praying that we blink away the haze of instant-this and immediate-that. Praying that we finally look. Not just at what needs done. But at what we can do.

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