(First published May 31, 2007)
Today Chris was talking about the importance of teaching, of taking what we know and passing it on. His point is affirming and challenging and frustrating to me. At times I hear my response to that point: “I don’t know much. No one needs what I know. I don’t have the time.” In fact, as Nancy and I were walking last night (keeping a purpose set in December), we were talking about our neighbor who has done quite well as an academic author and I said, “I don’t know anything that well.”
However, the more I thought, the more I realized that I better pass on the advice I gave someone recently. This person, who has children and loves them and is loved by them, is having a difficult time praying. Somehow the words aren’t tracking right. Somehow it feels like the intention isn’t quite right or that God must be questioning how the praying is happening or maybe God is saying, “I gave you everything you need, what are you waiting for?” This is a person near the edge.
So I said “Spend the next few days listening to how your children talk to you and your spouse. Listen to what is requested. Listen to the talking for talking sake. Listen to inflection and urgency and desire to be with you and hear you and love you. And then talk to God the same way.”
We get so stuck in formality, in pleasing, in rituals that we forget completely that we are talking to Dad. At least that’s what I read.
I’m praying that it helps this person. And maybe you.
“Looking Back” is an opportunity to republish posts which have mattered to me. They may matter to you, too.