Monday, September 28, 2009


I sat wedged in the corner of the sofa, sputtering out words and wondering how I could possibly be so distracted. I was speaking to the most attention-commanding, fear-inducing, jaw-dropping Being in the universe, and I was distracted by little thoughts flitting by. I imagined myself approaching the most magnificent castle in the world, its spires stretching toward the heavens and its gates sparkling in the sun. I had been invited to spend the day with the king. Just before I stepped through the gate, a pink flower caught my eye and I left the path to take a closer look. It was a pretty flower, so I sat down in the grass and picked it so I could breathe in the fragrance. Completely taken with it, I forgot all about my appointment with the king and ran all the way back to my little hut to put it in a vase.

How ridiculous. A worthless sacrifice. The flower will be gone tomorrow, and when I remember the king I will feel quite foolish explaining why I didn't come to see him.

Is it because I don't understand who I'm meeting with when I come before the Lord in prayer?

Listen to the offer we've been given: "Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy? Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in rich food. Incline your ear, and come to me; hear that your soul may the Lord while he may be found; call upon him while he is near." (Isaiah 55:1-3, 6)

Annie Dillard was rather frank when she said this about church, "Why do people in churches seem like cheerful, brainless tourists on a packaged tour of the absolute? On the whole, I do not find Christians, outside of the catacombs, sufficiently sensible of conditions. Does anyone have the foggiest idea what sort of power we so blithely invoke? Or, as I suspect, does no one believe a word of it? The churches are children playing on the floor with their chemistry sets, making up a batch of TNT to kill a Sunday morning. It is madness to wear ladies hats and straw hats and velvet hats to church; we should all be wearing crash helmets. Ushers should issue life preservers and signal flares; they should lash us to our pews. For the sleeping god may wake someday and take offense, or the waking god may draw us out to where we can never return."

Ouch. I think I would do good to think long and hard about who I'm approaching when I pray, and who it is that sees my every move, my every thought, and knows my every word. Every thought, every word, known perfectly by the One who has the power to kill, to breathe life, to save, and to destroy. Yikes. He listens to the humble and righteous and offers forgiveness for their souls. That's motivation. 


  1. good reminder and i love that passage in Isaiah.