Confession time: I pray selfish prayers. For God to bless me and my family, to provide for my needs, to thank Him for providing for my needs. It’s the most natural thing in the world, but not the most super-natural.
After 25 years, I’m still a rookie. How disappointing.
This week while listening to CCFM, I was reminded that it’s not about me. There’s a whole world full of people and needs, and the purpose of my Heavenly Father to pray about. What must He be thinking? There goes Sean again, thinking small, praying parochially. Well, if I may presume what He might be thinking, although I imagine sometimes He may be forgiving of me than I am myself.
But I’m just spit-balling.
Matt Redman has written a lot of profound songs through the years and one of my favourites is ‘heart of worship’ which reminds me:
I’m coming back to the heart of worship
Because it’s all about you, all about you
I’m sorry Lord for the things I’ve made it
Because it’s all about you, all about you, Jesus.
It’s a place I come back to: the basic starting point of simply knowing that its about Him and not me as I naturally begin to orbit around my own planet where my needs are the strong gravitational pull. Redman’s song helps loosen my planet’s pull to venture further into the space of who He is and what He is doing.
A fortnight ago, Mark Dickson from George Whitefield College preached at DCC about the disciples’ inability to control things and Christ’s power over death. The picture I got was of disciples who oftentimes were thinking too small and didn’t understand Jesus. Peter’s famous reaction to Jesus comes to mind:
31 Then Jesus began to tell them that the Son of Man* must suffer many terrible things and be rejected by the elders, the leading priests, and the teachers of religious law. He would be killed, but three days later he would rise from the dead. 32 As he talked about this openly with his disciples, Peter took him aside and began to reprimand him for saying such things.*
33 Jesus turned around and looked at his disciples, then reprimanded Peter. “Get away from me, Satan!” he said. “You are seeing things merely from a human point of view, not from God’s.” (Mark 8:31 – 33, NLT).
I would have made a typical disciple if I were there in the time of Christ. Having in mind the things of men instead of the things of God. Mea culpa.
It is difficult enough to think straight in normal circumstances. Thinking through painful circumstances is even more problematic. However He remembers that we are dust, which for me is a picture of our thoughts: on the level of dust, always returning to the lowest common sandy denominator.
Which, I suppose, is why going to church is important: it lifts our perspective to see things from His point of view. And in the shape this world and our lives are in, you can’t possibly get enough of that.