I remember praying this prayer for as long as I can remember: Lord, help me to have a disciplined devotional life. And for a few years there, in my late teens, I did! But after that...
Recently, after walking my son out to the school bus, I felt the tug from my back yard, to watch the spring continue in its beautiful power. As I hurried out, captured by the sight of the tiny buds on the trees and the raucous chorus of sounds from birds and insects, I made the choice to slip into self-judgment. Why can't I just spend more time with God? More prayer would definitely help me cope with the barrage of issues flying around. The birds chirped, the spring called, and I struggled to attend, listening instead to my inner chatter. Eventually, God won, and His voice in nature penetrated. I am God. I win. Life wins. The sounds echoed everywhere and His voice eventually became the loudest voice.
Returning inside to the reality that unfolds, I was tempted to quarrel, despair and be mean. I probably yielded to the temptation a few times. Then, in the face of a child's less-than-positive attitude, I remember to ask Jesus What do we do about this? And I feel the impulse to hug the child and pray. Or, at 3:30 am, when autism and difficulty sleeping collide, I leave the familiar God, how will I cope?? for God, help us sleep. My daughter, observing me being 'stressed' (her words) says, "Let's pray," and thanks God for the beautiful day, asking Him to help us choose gratitude. And I say, "Amen."
A wise friend and spiritual director told me once that I should pray the way I can, not the way I can't. I can berate myself for the ways that I could be communing with God, that I'm not, or I could see the invitations from God to commune with Him, the effort He takes to pursue and persuade, that I can't help but accept, and be grateful.
The invitation of our generous God to communion is relentless. His pursuit is consistent and He does not, and never will, stop chasing you, showing Himself faithful time and time again. I pray, today, you let go and ALLOW Him to be God, to hold you while you are still in His arms.