Do you like order and set routines? I do. And yet the flow of life up this point in my journey seems to be marked by multiple plans and options on every given day. I typically have Plans A, B and C and then alternate sub-plans.
It can wear a body out.
Yet God speaks into my need for order and control even as 2021 spreads wide out on the horizon with a whole bunch of blank calendar pages and even more ideas spinning in my head for how I would like to fill them.
This week alone a prayer phrase caught my attention and even as I penned it so I could get it solid on my soul, God has provided ample opportunities to answer it in ways that stretch me.
The prayer says:
“Jesus, give me a profound revulsion for my addiction to control.”Rick Lawrence, Jesus-Centered Daily, Group Publishing Inc. 2020, January 3 devotion
Well, I have been given profound revulsion, but sadly it is for the constant upheaval in my schedule this week due to circumstances beyond my…ahem….control.
Funny story that kind of relates to this control thing.
On Sunday as we sat in our socially distanced pews with our masks firmly in place, I had a thought picture come to my mind and immediately wanted to grab a pen and something to write it down on. Inspiration often comes to me in church, driving the car, walking…and I have to capture it or it is gone forever. Because the thoughts are always coming…sigh…welcome to my brain.
It was in this moment of needing to write down my idea when I realized how much we have changed. There is no pen or blank offering envelopes stocked in the pew rack. There is no bulletin. We don’t touch what others might have touched and can’t be cleaned with a disinfectant wipe.
The extremely urgent message that I had wanted to remember floated out of my mind as I pondered the death of the church bulletin. Over the years this little outline of what would be happening had already morphed into more of a newsletter than an outline of the service anyway.
I have missed the step by step layout of what we would be walking through during worship for several years prior to the pre-Covid disbanding of even what the bulletin had become.
I must admit. I liked knowing where we were in the service, how much ground we had yet to cover and the ability to have my hymnal opened to the right page or the sermon text marked and ready to go.
Having a paper guide in my hand in a church setting has always offered me a sense of comfort. Except for a performance of the Messiah, because that is a trickster’s guide. A two sentence paragraph under the muse of Handel can mean anywhere from two minutes to fifteen, or even eternity, depending on the number of notes he crammed in between the syllables.
So as I sat there bemoaning the fact that I had not even a scrap of receipt in my purse to jot down that extremely important idea….I realized that the now missing bulletin was yet another way God is prying my hands off of my …. addiction to control.
This prayer phrase is going to be a refining one. I can tell already. I can’t wait to see what God is going to work in me as He answers that prayer. Sure wish He would give me a preview….sigh <3
Blessings….see you tomorrow <3