The following quote from Barbara Brown Taylor’s book, Gospel Medicine, grabbed me and wrestled me into a time of prayer this morning:
“…God (is) calling us to serve, certainly, but calling us first and last to stay as close as we know how to the one who has chosen us, to stay as close to the light as we can, so that our witness is not a matter of performing tasks or playing roles or meeting expectations but of remaining in white hot relationship with the one who is able to make epiphanies out of all our days.”
How many times have I said, after my Tuesday night or Wednesday morning contemplative prayer groups, that THIS is what it’s all about? Setting aside the to-do list, laying down the anxieties and worries, turning off the phone, and simply sitting in God’s presence. Soaking up God’s love. Basking in the light of Christ. It just doesn’t get any better than this.
And yet, how often does the week fly by before I realize Tuesday night or Wednesday morning were the only days I actually took time to do this – to simply sit in God’s presence with no expectations, no agenda, no prayer requests. Just sitting in His presence, waiting.
My friend Annette Eckert from Bridge for Peace has been on my mind lately – so much so that she’s been showing up in my dreams. Meditating on Barbara Taylor Brown’s quote this morning helped me realize that I am drawn to Annette like a moth to a flame. Why? Because she lives so close to the light of God that she not only radiates that light, she sends off sparks!
Annette and I have retreated together several times over the years, and I’ve watched the way she rolls out of bed directly into a time of prayer – no leisurely wake-up with a cup of tea and the newspaper for Annette – her first thoughts are of her God. As the day progresses, words of praise are often on her lips – “Thank you, Lord, for this beautiful day!” “Praise you, Lord!” “Yes, Lord!” “Alleluia!”
With Annette, tasks are not obligations so much as little adventures. Writing a ministry brochure? Let’s do this together and have fun! Planning a three week mission trip to Uganda? Let’s sit down together in prayer and listen to what the Lord has to say. Building an orphanage and school for children in Uganda? Let’s hire God as architect, planner, and supplier of all of our needs.
No wonder I wish Annette lived close by! Her zeal for the Lord spills over, touching everyone around her. She radiates the light and love of God wherever she goes. When I’m with Annette, I, too, walk in the circle of God’s light.
Dear Lord, help me choose to draw close to you – to stay as close to your light as I possibly can. Help me overcome all the distractions that call my name that I may live in white hot relationship with you, so that, like Annette, I might radiate your light wherever I go this week.