Things I can now do fairly well with my left hand…
- crack an egg (surprisingly not as hard to do as I’d thought, I’ve only broken two yolks – the secret is to just go for it like you have no other option – which right now…I don’t)
- use scissors – I understand the call for left-handed scissors now
- brush my teeth
- flat-iron my hair (no frizzy hair here please)
How many times in our lives are we forced to learn how to do something differently? Initially most times it feels uncomfortable, weird, not right. I certainly felt that way the night of my accident after I dragged my butt up the stairs and stood in front of my bathroom sink. Everything I was doing didn’t just feel wrong, damn it…it hurt!
It’s a natural aspect of human nature…our need to resist change, even when it’s for our own good. We like to stay in our zone, walk the easy path. That’s why sometimes we need a good shake up, why we need to be forced out of our comfort zones. I’ve found that sometimes faith can be a little bit like that. You see people praying on TV, or in movies, and they have the perfect words, in the perfect, most natural, most earnest way. But real life is often nothing like that, it can be ugly and weird. How many of us felt really awkward and uncomfortable the first time we prayed or went to church after being away for a while? Heck, there are lots of times I still don’t know what to say, (especially when I’m praying out loud – because I just don’t do it enough…kinda like brushing my teeth with my left hand).
Do you remember the first time you had a conversation with a toddler? Their speech is often so rambling and garbled you have to constantly ask questions that require a “yes” or “no” answer just to figure out what they are saying. The good news for me is that God doesn’t have to ask any questions when I reach out to him. He already knows what’s in my heart…he just needs me to make an attempt. And his willingness to answer my prayer depends not on any beautiful speech I could make, but on one thing, and one thing alone…faith.
Something I’ve been struggling with, and been been reading about lately, is the type of faith a person has, the type of faith I have. It’s easy to start thinking that God is there to make your life better, richer, healthier through prayer. But those things shouldn’t be the purpose, or focus of faith, rather I think they are a by-product of a life focused on God. I have so many incredible blessings in my life, and I feel grateful for all of them, but what I yearn for more than anything is the feeling, the experience I have when I am filled with the overwhelming love and joy of the Spirit of God. When tears well up and I am overcome with his love. It’s what I imagine heaven must be like…experiencing that feeling all the time.
These days people want you to believe that you are going to have to give up something important to believe in God. And I’m not going to tell you that you won’t. You might even find your “new” life uncomfortable and scary at times (kinda like putting a 220°F flat-iron to your hair with an uncoordinated left hand). But like so many things in life, you have to take a big risk to get a big reward. We make choices of faith every day. The great news is the more you practice the things that are uncomfortable for you, the better you get at them…like going to church or prayer.
In those times when I am struggling, when I am tired and frustrated and in pain and feeling broken in spirit, and these days, in body; in those moments when I don’t have the energy to find the right words to pray I am reminded that Jesus himself gave us the answer…
Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Matthew 6:9-13
And remember “Jesus did not give his disciples any instruction about standing, sitting, lying down, walking, running, or driving an automobile while one prays. Jesus did not talk about head coverings, kneeling, the position of one’s hands, or closed eyes. Why? God wants us to pray at all times (1 Thess. 5:17 ) and in every place, under any condition, and in various situations (1 Tim. 2:8).” https://www.neverthirsty.org/bible-studies/