I attended Key to the Scriptures last night at OLG. It was an interesting and different experience from my RCIA days. I knew a lot of the people there and felt far more confident in actually being there. I chatted with some friends, and then we got down to the business of talking about God's covenants and the Bible and things of the sort.
At one point we talked about prayer and how the most important part of prayer -- the part that is so easy to forget -- is to listen. Every day, sometimes multiple times, we burden God with our requests and worries and trials and hopefully thank Him for his blessings. After we pray, we say "Amen" and that is that. We never stop to listen for His responses. Boston Bob read a short little passage about the voice that God uses, and it really made me think.
"So He said, "Go forth and stand on the mountain before the LORD." And behold, the LORD was passing by! And a great and strong wind was rending the mountains and breaking in pieces the rocks before the LORD; but the LORD was not in the wind. And after the wind an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire; and after the fire a sound of a gentle blowing."
We always expect God's voice to be loud and booming and powerful. A thunderbolt from heaven, a monsoon wind, a falling redwood. All to often, God's voice is still and quiet, and we have to listen hard to hear it. His voice is too easily drowned out by the sounds of our lives. The hustle and bustle of our day makes His voice so hard to hear. That is why we must listen and listen hard. His voice is heard in the sunbeams and the gentle breezes and the laughter of children. If we expect God to speak to us in grandeur and flash, then we will miss His message. If we look for His words in the stillness and quiet, there He will be found. In our crazy and hectic lives, we must find that stillness to sit and listen. And wait in peace. His words are there.
So much of my prayers are "wasted" on my worries. I worry about money and friends and family and the people unprotected in this heat and all of these things. My mom and The Boy (and most people who know me) tell me that I worry too much about those things that I cannot control. I thought that finding a few verses regarding anxiety might help me to keep perspective on things. and, using the good old concordance, I found a few. Since so many of us are in the same boat (the S.S. Worry's A Lot), I thought that I would share.
"Therefore don't be anxious for tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Each day's own evil is sufficient." Matthew 6:34
"Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you." 1 Peter 5:5-6
"Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD And whose trust is the LORD. For he will be like a tree planted by the water, That extends its roots by a stream And will not fear when the heat comes; But its leaves will be green, And it will not be anxious in a year of drought Nor cease to yield fruit." Jeremiah 17:7-8
I really appreciate how the Bible has very realistic and applicable connections to today's world. It truly is a living text that we can still relate to. I like being able to acknowledge a specific struggle and being able to seek guidance and reassurance immediately. Me and my books, right?
Tonight is week 2 of Theology on Tap. I'm pretty excited! Yeah for Nite Church!