Wednesday, February 23, 2011

In All That I Do

The crush of busyness has been weighing heavily on me over the last several weeks.  It stems from work-related tasks primarily -- lots of hours, travel, conference calls, small battles, etc.  And, in the midst of this, I have stuck with my morning prayer and reading routine (Old Testament, New Testament, Psalm, Proverb, devotional), which sets the tone for my day.  At times recently, though, I have unintentionally rushed through the process, needing to move on to the work that awaits anxiously for my attention.  I try to slow myself down, reading Scripture aloud, for example, but this has been a struggle.  I can't force my relationship with God or fit it into a neat 15-minute time-slot (and isn't this true of all relationships?).  Nor do I desire to, but, well, that's how it has been going lately.

I have begun to see God in smaller joys instead of deep connections of late.  This is not to say I don't desire the deep connection, but I just can't get there right now.  Yesterday, I had a very busy, stressful day.  I talked to God frequently throughout, but felt a little like I was just talking into the air.  Late in the afternoon, I went and got a cup of coffee, knowing I would need to work into the night.  I had been holed up in conference rooms and my hotel room (Phoenix again) all day.  I stepped outside and the warmth of the sun momentarily took my breath and I smiled.  I walked to the coffee shop and as I approached the door, I heard coming from the speakers above (people sit outside in Phoenix in February!  Imagine!) one of my favorite songs of all time.  A song that for reasons that aren't relevant now makes me feel an overwhelming sense of home: Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald singing They Can't Take That Away From Me.  (Louis and Ella)  Maybe you have a song like this, and you know the feeling when you hear it unexpectedly.  It brings such unexpected joy and peace.

After getting my coffee, I talked to a good friend.  I described what I was struggling with -- this sort of disconnection caused by busyness.  He asked about my prayers.  I said I pray for focus and strength.  I pray for courage and peace in stressful situations.  He asked whether I prayed that I would reveal Christ through my work, whether I prayed to God and asked that in my work today, let someone who sees me think or say to themselves: there is something different about her, something I am drawn to.  Do I pray that God would use me even in my work to reach others and bring them a step closer into a relationship with him?

Such wise counsel.  I had been (yet again) so self-focused.  I haven't been feeling deeply connected because I have been doing all the talking and almost no listening.  I had been asking God to do for me, yet not asking what I could do for Him.  God got to me anyway -- through the sun, and a song, and a friend.  Today, before I venture off to my next battle, I will still pray for peace and focus, but I will also pray that God will use me to reveal Himself to someone else, to glorify Him in whatever way He asks and in all that I do.  "So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God."  1 Corin. 10:31.  What a blessing it will be to be used by the Most High God.

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