Have you ever embarked on your day, fresh and ready to take on the world, began your business, planned what you would be doing later, thought about where to have lunch and what was on television that night or getting back to that book you're in the middle of, and then... someone asks you to pray?
That happened to me recently. It was going to be a busy day and I had a lot on my mind. I hadn't done devotions in the morning -- usually I do that at night when I'm more awake. I hadn't stopped to thank God or even ask Him for something. But as I attended a meeting a couple of hours after I tumbled out of bed, the chairman began by asking each of us to bow our heads for prayer. As I did, I let out a little gasp. How could I have left God out of my morning? How long would I have gone without any acknowledgement of Him at all? Lunch? An afternoon drive? Dinner? Bedtime?
I was glad that the speaker paused before beginning that prayer. I needed that time to collect myself and bring myself into an attitude of prayer. I hadn't been in that attitude all morning. I had been absorbed in myself. I had not been forced to acknowledge my God and Savior, and I had quite easily avoided doing it. Way too easily.
If you are like me, you have to be intentional in your relationships. I know it works that way with people. I can easily drift off and ignore people for days, weeks, years. And once in a while I find that I can do the same with my family, and even my God. With my family, it's easy to get around the problem. My almost 4 year old daughter demands attention -- usually at the most inconvenient times. My boys will go off together or close themselves off separately where I don't see them for hours at a time. I even find myself ignoring my wife too often for my liking. At least with her, we wind up in the same bed at night so we generally at least bump into each other!
But the one that worries me is my relationship with God. Some days it's not like the deer panting for streams of water. Some days it's not like my soul crying out. Some days it's more like a commitment we keep pushing toward the back burner. "Don't mess with me God, I'm on a roll here!" And it really upsets me when I catch myself doing that.
"Lord, forgive me my wrapping myself in selfishness and not desiring your presence. Show me that You are not interfering, but beckoning. Grant me the restlessness to sense how much I need You and the strength to lean upon You."