I’m heading out Tuesday afternoon for Troy, Missouri, to speak at a youth camp. In the past, I’ve spent the week at this camp as a small group leader. This year I will be bringing the message for their evening worship service. I’m finishing up my talk tonight and will put finishing touches on it tomorrow morning. Should be set to go. I’d appreciate your prayers for God to open the hearts of the youth to receive it; for me to be void of me and full of Christ, and for my safety and alertness as I travel to and from.
I’m excited about seeing several of my friends that live in the area. I should be able to catch up with several at the camp and then I am staying the night with one of my friends and hopefully catching up with a couple of others on Wednesday morning. The last time I saw many of these friends was December on our ski trip. So many of us are so busy with life that we cherish the few times we have to catch up.
Today I made three appointments: optomologist; dentist; and doctor. You see – this is one of those areas I’m really bad about neglecting. Just so you can understand how much I neglect this let me tell you about my phone call to the dentist. I called them to see about setting up an appointment and to see if they would accept my dental plan that I’ve been paying for for over two years and I’ve never used. When I asked about my dentist, I discovered that he had retired 8 years ago. Yep – that was probably about the time of my last appointment. I know the lady on the phone thought I was crazy. Why the sudden effort to make health appointments? Ask Steve. Once again – it’s his fault. 🙂
I came across these two quotes on prayer and they really spoke to me.
"Prayer enlarges the heart until it is capable of containing God’s gift of Himself". – Mother Theresa
"Prayer is exhaling the spirit of man and inhaling the spirit of God." – Edwin Keith
Prayer should be our spiritual breathing. Paul talks about praying without ceasing. I remember when I was a child how I thought that was funny. How could you pray without stopping? What about when you were driving or walking or going to the bathroom? How could you pray when you had to see where you were going or what you were doing? Over the years I learned what Paul meant. I love Edwin Keith’s quote and it is an image I can not only grasp but can remember. With every breath I exhale, I can think about making room for the Spirit of God in my life by getting rid of selfishness and with every life-giving breath I inhale, I can remember that I am receiving the life-giving Spirit of God. Exhale – less of me; Inhale – more of God. Exhale – less of me; Inhale – more of Christ. I take breathing for granted anyway. Maybe this will help me savor the fact that – indeed, I am still breathing. Seriously – breathing is one of those things that we take for granted until we can’t do it any longer. When was the last time you thought about your breathing rather than just breathing?
Let me propose an experiment – a spiritual lamaze course, if you will. In our effort to birth a new Christ-Spirit within ourselves, we will learn to breathe in a special way. Instead of "hee-hee-whoo; hee-hee-whoo" like they teach in the pregnancy classes, we will breath "less-of-me" on the exhale and "more of Christ" on the inhale. I don’t know . . .it’s 12:30 am and I’m tired. This is when I get weird ideas but what can it hurt? If you try it, let me know how it goes and if it works.
Peace – Melissa