I don’t know about you but I still experience some difficulty on staying connected with our Father and Jesus. It’s nothing compared to what it was like years ago when I ignored Him almost completely but it’s still there in varying degrees.
Yesterday I went through a self checkout at a grocery store where you basically scan the items yourself etc and I thought I had scanned a package of hamburger but after completing the process and walking away, I looked at the bill and noted that I had inadvertently missed scanning the hamburger. This was while I was on my way out of the store with my purchased groceries. It’s crazy the things that go through your head when you know you’ve done something wrong. Stealing is stealing but it bothers me how quickly my mind can produce reasons for why it’s alright to keep walking. I didn’t. I went back and scanned the hamburger and paid for it. I’ll tie this in, in a minute.
We had a busy day yesterday and I normally say prayers once a day, either in the morning or in the evening and they normally run for about a half hour or so. Sometimes when studying the Bible I add some extra prayers in during the day and there are also times when just out of gratitude, I pray above and beyond my normal prayers. Saying my prayers in the evening is usually not the best time to do it because I get tired and sometimes I fall asleep while I’m praying. Yesterday was one of those days and the “short version” won out. Not good.
I find that I can only do one of the “short version” prayers (for one day) and there is an inward realization that I need to mean business and I get back on track. God will cut me some slack for one day but He knows I can’t afford to let it go for two. The “short version” prayers normally only happens once or at most twice a week, so that’s 5 out of 7 or 6 out of 7. Problem being I need 7 out of 7 “full version” prayers. I need that connection, I call it my “at oneness”. It’s like an inner awareness that Jesus and I are OK.
I have the same awareness about my wife and I. I need her and I to be “OK” . If we aren’t, then there is a sense that all is not well and it bothers me. I am pretty sure that God uses our relationship in our marriage as a teaching tool with staying in union with Him. It’s one of those “and the two shall become one” kind of things. The correlations with regard to being attentive to my wife and being attentive to my relationship with my Lord are numerous. I could write a small book but I’ll spare you. Problem being, my wife could also write a book and it wouldn’t be small.
Did you ever notice how women are “detailed orientated” while men have a tendency to view things in a broader perspective? Paying attention to “detail” has never been my strong suit, at least not when it comes to things that I see and things that my wife sees.
I can give you an example. I was dropping something off to a distant relative of ours at their home and when I got home my wife asked me if I had stepped into their house. I said yes. My wife asked me what kind of couch they had. Do you think I could tell her? Nada. My wife asked, did you see their living room? Yep, looked right into it. What color was their couch? Haven’t got a clue, but I can tell you what their driveway looked like and what kind of car they drive! Evidently that wasn’t the right answer.
Yet for any male who has been married for a number of years, the importance of “detail” or seemingly “small things”, takes on a life of it’s own. Whenever a husband starts to consistently not see the details or the small things, whether you realize it or not, you’ve entered the “danger zone”. Seemingly small things are actually really important and to ignore them is to place your relationship with your wife in jeopardy. You’re still married, but there has been a breakdown in communication and if it becomes habitual, it threatens the entire relationship. The “oneness” between the man and woman is separated to a certain extent. When I first got married and when the children started coming along, I missed A LOT of the small things. Nice boy, just not too bright.
In like manner, seemingly “small things” can interfere with our relationship with our Lord. Sin, in any of it’s varied forms, can be a seemingly small thing. The manner in which we treat our wife can hinder our prayers. Stealing in any of it’s varied forms is another. The list is long. And if we are trying to maintain a close relationship with our Shepherd, He will bring our shortcomings to our awareness. Sometimes He will even infrequently test us, like at the supermarket, as an example. Little things are important, like dedicating sufficient time and effort to maintaining the relationship we have with our Lord in prayer and reading His Word. Those are not “little things”, they are actually “biggies” and to ignore them can put our relationship in the “danger zone”.
If I love my wife I’m going to have to learn to look at things from her perspective also. And if I love Jesus, the same thing is going to happen. To maintain that “oneness”, the way that I see has to change and if I value that “oneness”, it can’t be dismissed.
One of the things that I infrequently pray for is to be able to see things like Jesus sees them and hear things like Jesus hears them. I think He has been giving me insight into this area and it’s not pretty. And it’s not just others, it’s me too.
Mercy is another word that I use often in my prayers.
Worthy is the Lamb! Blessings!