Saturday, February 23, 2008

Ponderings Between You and Me

My Father,

I have so many questions perhaps reflecting that I make life too difficult when it really just comes down to living in joy and fear and love before You. I want to strip away all the things I don't know answers too and just live before You in confidence with You and all that is in You, as my sole source of joy. I want to fear You and no other. I want to love You and all that is in You and no other. Teach me to receive Your blessings and enjoy the good things of life that You bring my way. I think sometimes that I have a problem with enjoying Your material blessing. Strip all away that I seek as an end in itself though.

I have so many questions and they're all so introspective and random, perhaps reflecting my mood today. Maybe they aren't even legitimate or worth worrying about. I mean, who stresses about the things I've been stressing about? Here's one thing that I don't know if anyone reading this will understand. It makes sense to my categorical mind. It certainly reflects my "hyper-categorical" mind. I should be more laid-back and unified in my mind and not so "hyper-categorical."

Father, You have been so gracious to teach me the book of 1 John. What an amazing letter in the New Testament. It's one that I used to hate because it always made me feel so sinful and without hope and yet after reading it in its entirety and seeing its context, I see how beautiful a book it is and it's full of hope. Here's the thing: You've given me some cognitive understanding of it. Thing is, I want to "own" this letter of John at a heart-level. I want to walk according to the principles of this letter. I don't know how to really get that except to pray into it and get some practical revelation from You. Would You demonstrate to me what it looks like in the day-to-day for me to live according to the principles of this letter of John? I love the deep cognitive understanding You give me. I feel that You've given me a talent in that kind of thinking and teaching and thus I'm driven to do more research in and about 1 John. I'd love to exegete it. I just want to find the balance between the cognitive knowledge and my practical response of love to You by actually living this book-being a doer of the Word and not just being a hearer. Would You lead me in this, because I don't know what to do.

It seems lately that all I like to do is think and pray. If I'm not praying, I'm reading something or worshipping or walking. If not those, I'm socializing or eating with friends and it seems like I can relate less and less to some of my other friends which enjoy other things. I think of a close friend of mine in the area-I want to connect with him more, but he's much younger and his interests are so different from mine-well at least somewhat. I guess that I place such a premium on my narrow view of the presence of God which I limit strictly to the prayer room, worship music, intercessory prayer, Scripture, and fasting (which are not only legitimate, but very important to engage in regularly) that I don't leave a place for honing talents and enjoyments elsewhere. Frankly, I want the spiritual disciplines to be an even higher priority in my life in terms of regularity, but I also want to worship the Lord through enjoying the things He's given me: my love of reading, thinking, studying, serving, hiking, camping, playing sports and working out and I want to engage in these activities more, though they require money that I don't have just now. I guess I set them on the backburner until later in life when I have the opportunity to pick them up. Could You minister oh God to some of my questions here?

Ultimately, my prayer is simple-Let me find all of my joy in You and don't let me reject any kindness that You bring my way, but don't let me seek anything outside of You either.

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