Wednesday, February 3, 2016

nothing is wasted

I have always been quite skilled at learning from others, at gaining wisdom from observing the actions and decisions made by those close to me whether that be emotionally or just in close proximity.  The goody goody part of me formed lists in my mind of others' missteps so I would most assuredly not do those things.  The rebel inside of me, though quite short lived, made a list of its own of what I could quite possibly get away with without going too far over the line.  The line, I may add, that I created all on my own.  It could be quite entertaining/humiliating for me to share specifics, but even though I am a grown woman of almost mid 30, my mother will be reading and outing myself, or my siblings who I learned much from that applies to both lists, is something I'm not planning to do.  Maybe in a decade or two.  Until then I'm an open book in private conversations so let's grab some tea and chat away!

Growing older brings more experience and wisdom and my observation skills are now used less for the legalism I heaped upon myself and more for grown up type things.  When I'm not in denial that I actually AM a grown up.  Reading articles, blogs, books and magazines hone skills from decorating and cooking to parenting and loving my neighbor but always at the top of my to learn list will come from watching those around me and gleaning from the field in which I'm planted at the time.  You can learn a great deal about how to live or not live life by being present in each place you find yourself.  Learning from your own failures and successes as well as others just provides more information to process and place in the appropriate file folders of your mind to be pulled when needed.

One such positive thing I have gleaned from my years of listening and observing is to pray with my boys on the way to school each day.  A friend shared many years ago that the way they spent their travel time to school was to take turns praying about the day.  As she put it you're already together and have nothing else to do but talk so why not start the day talking to God.  At the time she shared her story her kids were in middle school so their conversations with our creator were somewhat different than ours.  As praying aloud is still a difficult thing for some young ones, and can often take on a three wishes to the genie persona, guidelines were set in place so that they do three things in the midst of their chat.  The first is to thank God for something, then to ask God for something and finally to pray for someone else.  As much as I encourage thinking before speaking they inevitably get in a rut so that almost every morning each child's words sound very similar to the day before and quite similar to the one who just spoke ahead of him.  Sigh.  But there are moments when clouds part, angels sing, and brief words of true thought, compassion, and kindness emerge and I know that their hearts really are growing.

It was this child-like, wishes to be granted take on prayer that popped into my mind this past Sunday when reading and discussing John 14 with my loving community group.  Jesus told his disciples And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.  You may ask me for anything in my name and I will do it (John 14:13).  I can't help but stop when I read verses like this, verses that when taken just in a sentence seem very akin to the list of wants that are always running in my head.  The things I "need" to have a better life or so I determine.  It's hard not to want to apply it to those worldly desires.  I promise Lord they're the desires of my heart, no really!

 I am not a theologian.  I have zero knowledge of what words in the original greek or hebrew were translated to create this sentence.  But I know what finally made sense in my mind as conversation continued.  As Jesus spoke to his beloveds, the ones closest to him both in proximity and emotionally, He was giving them a charge.  A promise.  You've watched what I've done, you've observed me with the people around us, and now when I'm gone, when I'm with my father, you will do these things.  You will be my hands and feet.  And whatever you ask in my name I will do for you because through that Kingdom work He will be glorified.

I am not a failure, but I'm also not a stranger to failing.  There is a semi constant struggle in my heart of how I can be more, how I can do more, and how I'm always falling short.  A few moments with many others has led me to know I am not alone in that inner turmoil.  However I have been reminded, I know again, that the beautiful words sung by Jason Gray nothing is wasted, in the hands of our redeemer, nothing is wasted are truth beyond a shadow.  In the midst of each of our current battles, current pains, current heartbreaks, current doubts, current feelings of wanting and needing to be more, we have a promise that as we have our being anything we ask in His name, anything we lift to Him as our Kingdom work, no matter how much we excel at it or how badly we feel as if we've screwed it up, none of it, in His hands is wasted.  He redeems it all.


1 comment:

  1. I think the key point here, for me, is the whole "whatever you ask" part. Trusting and believing that He cares and wants to give me the desires of my heart would make the asking more natural for me. And when I think about how children pray, how they fumble for words, words that aren't the exact same as the prayer they prayed yesterday, I think about how their relationship with Jesus is really in the very beginning stages. So naturally it would feel a little awkward and a little like "um, what am I supposed to say again?" So I think that when I find myself in a place like where I am currently, where even the asking feels unnatural and a little awkward, I realize that it's because I haven't been viewing my prayer life as an aspect of my RELATIONSHIP with Jesus. A real, living, active relationship with a real, living, active Person. Does that make sense? I know that wasn't your main point with the analogy of your boys praying, but it's what I came away with and I needed to hear it! Thanks for writing your heart out every week and letting us share in what you're learning. I have an "a-ha!" moment every time I read one of your posts :-)