my part

Recently, I have asked some people to pray for me. Their willingness and faithfulness is humbling and encouraging. But it is also convicting.

Here’s the story.

Nancy and I are walking these days, and we are monitoring the food we eat. It is not an obsession, it is more a willingness to say, “I don’t need that.” And the process has gone well. The walking has been great and the food, well, it hasn’t been much of a problem.

Except, during the past week or so, I’ve been feeling a bit more stress than usual. Which means that I tend to feel more snacky. Which means that I am more snacky.

Today I was walking down the church hallway toward the kitchen where I knew there was chocolate cake and cherry pie. I am not fasting for Lent, at least not in the normal way, but I am being mindful of the point of fasting which is to spend time with God rather than with food. As I was walking toward the kitchen, my friend Sue walked around a corner and saw me. She stuck her head in the kitchen and said, “I was just walking down the hall praying for you and there you were.”

I put the piece of pie back (without touching it) and went back up to the conference room where I had been hiding. I had asked Sue to pray today, and she was.

But I wasn’t. I was filling the gap I was feeling with empty though tasty (I’m guessing) calories. I realized that if I am asking other people to pray for me, to talk to Dad about my life and needs, I need to NOT fall into the trap of filling those needs my own way. I need to talk to Him, too.

Of course, when I went back to reflecting and followed up on a phrase that Jesus used, about doing the will of Him who sent me, I discovered that I wasn’t remembering the whole verse. It starts, “My food,” said Jesus, “is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work.” (John 4:34.)

And so, He talks with us. When we stop to listen.

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2 responses to “my part

  1. I think I needed to hear that verse today. Thanks.

  2. It’s funny. I’ve been thinking about this verse a lot lately. The reason is that I have had no appetite this past week or so. (Trust me – that has never happened to me before). I have to remind myself to eat or I will skip meals and the day will pass and i will only remember to eat when I start to get shaky in the afternoon.

    i don’t think it’s a coincidence that I have been spending larger amounts of time than ever before in prayer and reflection, listening for God’s voice.

    It’s like I entered into Lent through the back door. I didn’t intentionally give up food in order to spend more time in prayer and contemplation. But in spending more time feeding myself through prayer and God’s word, I have lost the desire for earthly sustainence. Suddenly I have “food that I knew nothing about.”

    I don’t expect it to last, but maybe I can remember it the next time I’m tempted to self-medicate with chocolate.