Friday, January 30, 2009
Warning...God talk ahead... :)
In the next two months, if you happen to be near me and hear "Beep...beep...beep", it's not because I need to be reminded of the time, it's because I'm "checking in" to God.
Our church is reading a book - Soul Revolution - and with it trying the 60/60 Experiment. Every 60 minutes for 60 days, we stop and pray.
Sounds radical? Crazy?
It's been one of the best experiences of my life (and it's only been 5 days) and has shown me that there is nothing better I could do with my time then talk a few minutes to talk with God.
Things I've learned in these 5 days:
1. I found myself checking my little 60 minute stopwatch to see if it was "time to pray" yet. What?! I can pray whenever I feel like it, that's the amazing awesomeness of God. I had to laugh at myself on that one - I'm sure God was laughing a bit too.
2. God isn't fooled by my rehearsed, church-speak prayer. He doesn't want to hear the thoughts of someone else, he's only interested in sincere thoughts from me. I can talk to him normally, without the catch phrases I've picked up from other's prayers. I can be real with him. Because, honestly, it's not like he couldn't read my mind anyway. I guess God got a good chuckle out of that one too.
3. God is the only purpose of my life. The rest of my life is as easily lost as gained. Even noble pursuits like love can be tainted by the harshness of this world. I cannot find my fulfillment in another human being. As humans we are frail, weak, and prone to disappoint. Even the best of us will one day die, so to build my life on another person is futile. (That is not to say that building your life with someone is bad, relationships are where it's at!)
4. I can trust God with my life - and not just the scary parts.
5. I have to lay down my pursuits for happiness. Satisfaction and contentment do not come from obtaining every goal, material possession, or achievement I desire. Yes, pleasure and even momentary happiness may be had from these, but it does not last. The new car gets a dent or is wrecked, the beautiful house starts looking less beautiful to you, and the new job is not quite as exciting as you thought it would be. My pursuits were, first, weight loss. I thought losing all my excess weight was the key to being "happy". More confidence, clothes fitting better that this would make me happy. This was my "idea" or "plan" to achieve my happy, contented life. I had to lay this plan of mine down to God. If he wants me to lose weight, I will. And I can lose weight, but not as a means to happiness. It should not consume my thoughts day and night. I should not be obsessed with it.
So I set that pursuit down and prayed. I am not in control here - and from my numerous struggles with weight my entire life, that is pretty obvious. God is in control. Of course, I'm not going to run out and stuff myself with every fatty/carby/unhealthy food item in sight. But I'm going to give my day up to God. I prayed that He would direct me to foods that are healthy and keep my away from foods that do not nourish my body. I prayed that food would not be a struggle for me anymore. That I would not hold beauty/thinness up as an idol above Him.
And not that it matters, but it was quite surprising, that I lost 2 more lbs after that. Considering I hadn't been obsessing over my weight this entire week - no counting calories, or thinking about fat content, or planning out my meals, not even exercising - it was refreshing to put my worries and burdens in this area on Him.
Anyway, I'm sure there will be much more learning to be had while I am doing this "experiment" - which I hope turns into more of a habit, since I don't think I'm ready to ever end this experiment.
I need something constant in my life, because everything changes and everything I grasp onto so quickly slips through my fingers in this world. God is that constant, and I am so grateful for Him.