2/25/2006

Intensity and Abandon


The last few weeks have just felt intense. I haven't felt like blogging much. MasterLife has taken a lot more focus, and that's been a good thing. Sometimes when the world is crashing in...getting back to basic disciplines brings back the focus and the joy again, and it has.

I'll state this, not for the wrong motives, but because it is becoming a lost "art" and so few do it. For our extended time of group prayer, I decided to fast. I just gave it to the Lord, ate my last meal Wednesday night and ate again Thursday morning about 12:00AM. So...not the world's longest fast by any means, but the longest fast I've ever done. Something about missing the next's days supper time, too. I've fasted from bedtime until a 6:00 supper the next day many times.

It gave me a lot of joy. Something about having a cold and a headache already made it easier. I already had less appetite than normal and wasn't feeling so great, so what's a little more edge?

I had a roaring headache through the bulk of our 5 1/2 hour prayer time...and I mean like praying from the time we hit the door until the time we left. No praise and worship warmup or teaching...just prayer. I haven't had that in a LONG time...too long. It was so beautifully quiet and serene. Often, if you go somewhere to pray alone, especially as a female, it seems a bit disconcerting and lonely and scarey at times. You are safe, but it's just lonely. With so many people filling different rooms, praying at the same time, asking for God's direction in the same place. It was just royal treament and a royal treat.

After our 3 hours or something alone reviewing things we've learned, asking God to show us...whatever we needed to see...we got together as a group and prayed for one another. What was so funny is the underestimation of how much time this would take. We were scheduled to be done at 9 and got done at midnight. But, even the most quiet, backward, or reserved person prayed over each person -- the love and healing and blessing and even correction that flowed in such a sheltered environment--it was just fun. No other word for it...such a blessing. It seems we would have gotten bored...but so many were new at it that it was like watching a baby learn to walk. Just filled you up.

Fortunately, we don't do it too often. My child care was like...you WHAT for 5 1/2 hours, are you kidding me?

It's amazing to me how you can be in an intensive Bible study with a group of people...for us, 18 weeks now, how little most of us still knew about each other, and just the spirit ties some of us have formed that defy words or explanation...we are so different in ages and life.

Today we know each other much more, having heard the whole group's culminated prayers over a person.

We were supposed to share one of our life goals...and, I still don't know for sure what my over-riding life goal that will direct my ministry is. I was hoping God would show me. Some hints I suppose...but, I don't know...not sure.

I just know that I see the next four months, and that's what I'm to do wholeheartedly, not looking back or ahead--to have my life in line to do whatever He wants from me after that. He'll have to make it very clear. I don't want to settle for "good" and miss his "best". I could do many things.

Feel like I'm trying to figure out with God what I'm going to be when I grow up lately...again, yet knowing, I won't know right now. It's not time for that revelation. In the meantime, just learning to hear his voice and obey. Make sure I'm not wasting the time doing whatever is in front of me.

*Family.
*Preparing for hospitality more...preparing my home, whatever it takes.
*Preparing my preschooler to enter the world.

My three basic goals.

Wish I had something the sounded more...well, different, new, exciting. But, still just hashing out old goals, waiting for his help.

Tonight, reflecting on pride/humility in relation to all this stuff: ("I want to look better than that"). Purpose Driven Life says true humility is not self focus-- not focused too much on either my strengths OR my weaknesses. Instead, having an accurate view of myself, and letting God have it all, focused on others.

Well, that's all for tonight. Seems like it's too deep for a blog...most people I suppose surf for something light and entertaining...a relief from the heaviness of life. But, just where I am this week. As we know, this is all about me. lol.

I hope God stirs in you the desire to know a God who knows your heart and everything about you, and everything He wants you to be for Him to impact a world needing to see Him in you, whatever it takes.

As to the fast, if you've never tried one, it just gives an incredible sense of purpose, focus, and other-centeredness that is hard to explain. If you have a day "off" it is especially nice...you can follow prompting to do things for others you normally don't find time to do. Write notes, that sort of thing. Today when I get hungry...I want food and I want good food and I want it now! I think I'm still making up for lost time. You know what? Food tastes extraordinarily GOOD to me now. Sometimes, you get busy, and you just stop tasting...really tasting. I'm not talking about over-eating or gorging, just savoring. After you've been stressed for a while, you just stop tasting. Now, I can taste again. It just brought me back to a more basic place. I love the verse in The Message that says, "to be mature is to be basic." Sometimes it takes a lot of getting back to basics to find that deep and abiding joy and faith and hope that sustain in troubled times.

On a lighter note: Last night, I was asked last night to prepare an Upward devotion for today at the B-Ball game half-time.

I asked God what I could do on the spur of the moment--only has to be 5 minutes long, but needs to "stick"--lot of unchurched people there.

At that moment, I looked up and sawmy purple, long, metal baton I used to twirl. I'd found in my closet this week & hadn't put away yet (not that I was playing with it).

I said, "Okay, what else?" Immediately the story of the parable of the seed came to mind. So I told how God used a friend planting the seed in my life of wanting to learn to twirl and compared it to what we wanted to do at Upward...to plant seeds. Talked about the different kinds of soil and what God can do with us at each place to take us to better soil so we can experience growth and fullness of life. It was so fun to try to do, though I was so nervous. I got done, and an older lady I'd asked to pray for me comes to give me a hug and says, "You are not going to believe this, but I used to be a marionette myself." You just don't hear that much around these parts, so it was just cool.

All those years pinging that thing of an 8 foot ceiling in my bedroom paid off for something useful! LOL.

My husband asked me how the devotion went.
"Okay."
"Well, what did you do?"
"Well, I twirled my baton."

You can bet he asked for the full story!

Me

2 comments:

Misty said...

I think that most of us are not meant to have a "revelation" about one "true purpose" or mission in life. I think we have many varied changing purposes and missions in life and most are just as important as the others for the time we are doing them. I don't think God necessarily builds us for just a one-direction life, but to live our lives TOWARD Him. My mom used to always tell me, "No matter what you decide to do in life, just do your best." I think our heavenly father would say the same thing. :)

Anonymous said...

Why didn't I think of that?

You've been taking swimming lessons, haven't you?

Thanks for the encouragement. God gave me a great gift in you!

Me