Let Us Pray
There is no telling how many conversations I have a day. I briefly considered trying to track them and keep count just for a week but gave up at lunch time the first day.
There is the telephone call to go over a meeting agenda; the exchange of pleasantries that occurs dozens of times in a day; the meeting that drones on well past its expiration point; the drop in visit, as well as the pre-arranged counseling session; the workroom chit chat with staff; the “walk and talk” between two places in the building in which a decision gets made and a direction set; and so on. And those are the actual conversations. That doesn’t include the “conversations” that take place on social media, by e-mail, and by text.
At the end of the day, I can’t remember them all. The ones I remember are the ones of substance and the ones in which I listen more than I speak. I recall the person who dropped by to see if I “had a minute” and then proceeded to share a deep and personal pain. I recall the conversation with one of my daughters about something crucial in her life. I am focused on the conversation with Mary-Ellen when we turn phones off and give each other our undivided attention. I remember the “walk and talk” where a member of the staff shares excitement over a new, or renewed, possibility for us as a church. The memorable conversations, the “real” conversations, are the ones that occur when I slow down long enough to listen – and to be listened to because I am speaking from a centered place.
This leads me to wonder about my prayer life. Am I merely exchanging pleasantries with God? Or entering into a meeting with God that drones on pointlessly? Or, am I settling into an unhurried conversation that involves as much listening as speaking? Is my time in prayer memorable or forgettable? Am I invested in as a relationship or do I simply greet a passing acquaintance?
This Sunday, as we conclude our “Choose One” sermon series, we will encourage one another to choose one prayer – one prayer that we can fully enter into in the year ahead, one prayer that will deepen our conversation with God. After we converse about that, we will come to the Table to be met by the mystery of a God who wishes to be our conversation partner.
Hope to see you Sunday for the family conversation.
Grace and peace. rcf