Life has been pretty crazy lately. The wheels of my daily juggling act are all developing seeds of their own. What started out as a mixed portfolio of life giving activities has turned into barely overlapping wheels of potentially life sapping obligations. Just as in my previous life of The Iron Maiden, Financial Controller par excellence, I am now the Queen of yes, operator par excellence, can do, will do, love to do girl. The only way out is to physically get away from it all and get close to God.
Knowing that I needed more time alone with God, I started ‘prayer and praise’ last August. First gently, sticking a toe in the water, I started bringing along a friend into St. Andrew’s on Tuesday at noon. We would pray and sing and praise and pray and just be with God. After a few weeks it seemed selfish just to keep it to ourselves so I opened it up to others. It is now a regular part of our church life. So with this regular commitment and all the other ways that I regularly pray and study (NT Theology last year, OT Theology this year) I thought I was already doing the right things. I still didn’t get it and my yes girl mentality was taking away all that space I had in my early years alone with God. Those important revelations that once came with a mighty hand, were not as frequent in my swirling world.
Enter Mary D, (code named now MD) over the Atlantic. A few words brought out a life giving beautiful soul. MD comes from Lighthouse Int’l Christian Church which is a mecca and multicultural melting pot for souls who have come from places like Iran, Afghanistan, India and Pakistan. Individuals and families come, many as refugees, new to the christian faith. Many move to other parts of the UK from this entry point. The church itself is growing rapidly, even with this steady movement. Meeting at 4 p.m. for prayer, praise, worship and food (imagine the treats in store with this international pool), they are outgrowing their home and looking to expand. Oh what I wish for this phenomenon to take hold over our population of pioneers in the lakes. But this wasn’t all that MD brought to the table. She was convinced that what I needed was a precious book she was carrying with her called Begin the Journey with The Daily Office by Peter Scazzero.
Now I’ve been studying and praying and praising God with zeal for years. I’ve done just about every configuration of sound bite study. In fact, I’ve determined that what I need is more theology to understand the world and the people and the circumstances of those early days to encourage those stubborn hold-outs with a logical way to come to the grace of the Lord. I thought I needed this little book like ‘a hole in the head’ and was pretty adament that I couldn’t possibly accept it. Mary was having none of it. She insisted that this precious well worn book was for me. God has put us together over the Atlantic for a reason. And so I did what I was called to do and accepted it with a grateful heart. MD’s gift has brought me back to the quiet time that I’ve been missing in my world of (the most maddening combination of visionary, operator and processor) can do it all madness. So starting from next week, we’re all going to begin exploring this precious little book, slowly, in Prayer and Praise. Our infusion with the living Lord just got a whole lot richer.