I’m continuing to think about my wandering, wondering, miscellaneous thoughts while attempting to pray. More specifically, while attempting to listen to what God has to say to me in prayer. Fans of Star Trek: Next Generation will remember a wonderful episode where the android, Data, is attempting to fall in love with a lovely woman named, Sue. As he is holding her, she asks him what he is thinking about. His reply spans topics from nuclear propulsion, to a new cat food formula, to an in depth analyses of the collected works of Dickens, to reconfiguring the warp coil of the ship, and then he adds, “I was also thinking about you, Sue.”
That describes the way I felt in prayer as I walked. I noticed our neighbors—newlyweds—had put copper gutters on the house they are remodeling and wondered how they afforded that; I thought about an upcoming conference; I thought of Dianne’s push to get her classroom reorganized; wondered about the new “for sale” sign on Stanley; noticed it was cooler than forecast; wondered if my new plantings would make it through to summer; and oh yes, I was listening for Father’s still, small voice as well.
As my mental discipline wanes, so does my patience with Pres. Shaming, berating, disparaging, condemning, and humiliating are the flesh patterns I have developed over the years to battle my lack of focus. As the variety of thoughts expanded, so did the depth of my self-condemnation.
But after a couple of blocks, I heard—in my mind’s thoughts—Father say, Pres, why are you going so hard on yourself? Do you not think I can keep up with your mind—the one I gave you—as it multi-tasks on these various subjects in your world?
I gave you the ability to think, and to process, and to question, and to be curious, and to be energized by a multiplicity of thoughts at once. Why do you assume I want you to be a different person when you talk with Me than the fine person I crafted in you?
I’m enjoying the far-ranging conversation we are having. Please continue.
The tension in my shoulders eased. My pace became less intense. The crease in my brow relaxed. I looked up at my neighborhood again and I let the mind Father gave me begin to work, trusting (in faith) that we were engaged in meaningful prayer. After all, that is the attitude and heart-desire I left the house with.
Why should I not believe Father would show up for the discussion?
But what does this look like day in, day out?