Friday, November 18, 2011

18th November

For sure the best part of today, so far, has been the time I spent in prayer. Actually that was the only totally productive activity I engaged in, though it was for only very short periods of time. I don’t feel like I’m very good at praying, perseverance seems rather short lived and my prayers are certainly not at all eloquent. Oh yes, I can do the prayer meeting thing and speaking in front of several hundred people is no problem; I can string a few words into sentences which are quite passable in the ‘rankings’ of spirituality. But whether those prayers are truly a reflection of the heart of God is a completely different story. I’ve been in so many meetings where people like me seem to dominate the times of prayer without allowing the more polite attendees space to speak. And yet, I’ve observed that on many occasions these are the folk who’ve really been listening to the Lord and when their few words are spoken, perhaps right at the end of our time together, they seem to touch upon something that could only have come from the very throne room of heaven. So over the past year or two I’ve redoubled my efforts to keep my mouth shut and my ears open when thoughts spring into my mind about contributing publicly. Basically I want to serve the Lord’s agenda, not mine.

And truthfully, I feel completely broken. Yes my heart has been ripped open, but more than that my whole way of life has irreversibly changed. I feel aimless. Each day is an ordeal as I strive to occupy my time with distraction after distraction, trying in vain to avoid engaging one more time with an outburst of grief. And when I pick up more meaningful activity, such as my decorating project or work on my laptop, I find my heart just isn’t in it. I struggle to focus and then I disengage. So today I resumed my internet trawling thinking about so many others in exactly the same situation as myself, and wondering if I might find some solace in their writing. And up to a point I did, it’s so encouraging knowing that I’m not alone in how I’m feeling. But, and it’s a big but, the unavoidable emotional engagement with a well written story of another’s bereavement is far too painful unless in very small doses. It seems true what they all seem to say… unless you’ve been there you don’t really know what it’s like.

Sometimes the stories are far too close to home. I was reading one today and as soon as I’d finished I felt like I was about to explode with tears again. And I find those times far too draining so instantly reached for my quick fix distraction… a very childish Chrome App called Bouncing Balls! It demands enough concentration to soak up undesirable thought patterns and works well when I’m fighting off the tears. They always give me a headache if left unchecked.

But the real result today was that on several occasions I was driven to my knees in prayer. And though my words were few they for sure came from the heart. The presence of God touched me in a very special way, I felt as though the Lord was shining a light into my life, a light that will show me the path that I must walk along. And he was further along the pathway than me, so to follow the path all I have to do is follow the Lord. But some days that is easier said than done…

Psalm 119:105 ‘Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path.’ (NLT)

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