A Good Flashlight

green grass field during sunset

Not fully cognizant at five o’clock in the morning, I was reading my devotional prayer for the day. At once, a line in the prayer woke me from my fog as if in this moment God had meant for me to pay attention. God sometimes interrupts us and realizing this, I could only smile. I did not intend to read my devotion in a mindless manner, but this is exactly the way I should describe it. You may want to respond to my moment by suggesting some would’ve, could’ve, should’ve but this is only the pot calling the kettle black. We are all mindless at times and I am aware of this fault in myself. Absent-mindedness visits us all.

I should not begin to suggest I understand prayer but ignorant though I am, I pray. This means there is some talking involved and asking God for His involvement in life’s problems not just seemingly but definitely beyond my control. Not my will but His do I seek in those agitations. I would further this to suggest if I am asking I should also spend an exponential time listening for His answer. And this is what I think I heard when the line in the prayer woke me. I heard God speaking through my mindlessness.

The old hymn says prayer is the burden of a sigh, the falling of a tear, the upward glancing of an eye when none but God is near. On this morning, He was near enough to grab my attention.

And what did my devotional prayer say, the words lifted high into my consciousness, igniting my joy in His interruption? The prayer simply said, “Cause us to be what you call us to be.” No words could better sum our relationship with God, our willingness and unwillingness to participate, His love for us, our fears and joys the same. There’s nothing like a good bottom line statement to inform perspective.

I think to consider His causing and His calling means a lifetime of discovery, of asking and receiving, of grief and joy, of talking and listening. When I’m willing and listening, the calling becomes clearer like the lifting of my fog during my devotion. When I’m unwilling or mindless or wayward, His causing comes sometimes like an unsuspecting prick of a thorn and sometimes like a tap on the shoulder. One is sudden and hurts, the other is gentle, an “oh, by the way I’m still here” reminder. Both get my attention.

And what of His calling? Doesn’t it demand a culling, a removal of all that is not God within you? And in His way, God’s causing, His interrupting is intimately intertwined with our calling. And when the culling is done, what is left but all God created you to be, what He placed there for you to become.

I should liken this all to light, the feeling the warmth of the sun and being warmed, a good flashlight when the power fails, and the sure dawning of early morn.




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