Today, I’ll conclude a series about a journey of listening prayerfully (See April 9, 16, 19, 23 & 26 archives).
In my journey of listening prayer, I’ve discovered there will be times I come to a juncture and must decide which road I’ll take.
The Road of “Yes, BUT…” or
The Road of “Yes, WHAT…”
While the enemy of my soul often uses fear to cause me to choose the road of “YES, But…” the one who loves my soul plants deep desires. Divine desire gives me courage to choose the Road of “Yes, WHAT…” Three facets of desire have motivated me.
First, there’s a desire to move beyond mediocrity.
Several years ago, the group Switchfoot produced a song called More than Fine. Every time I heard the line, “I want more than just okay,” the words resonated. These lyrics often caused me to ask God for courage to live in a way that was “more.”
The Apostle Paul never settled for “just okay!” as illustrated by his declaration in Philippians 3:10 (NIV): “I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death…”
The Suscipe prayer, shows us Ignatius of Loyola also wasn’t willing to settle,
Everything is yours; do with it what you will.
Give me only your love and your grace,
that is enough for me.
Both Paul and Ignatius challenge me to reach at least a little bit beyond “just okay!”
Next, there’s a desire to accomplish divine, tailor-made work. One of my favorite verses is Ephesians 2:10, telling me I am God’s workmanship created to do good work God designed for me to do from a time I cannot even fathom.
In one of my Ted Talk wanderings, I stumbled upon a talk on Soul Stewardship by Erwin McManus, an author, filmmaker and the pastor of Mosaic Church in Los Angeles. He encouraged the audience to expand their imagination—to “materialize the invisible.”
As a “listening prayer” novice, I’ve caught a glimpse of how the quiet, interior work of the Spirit in my spirit during times of silence ignites my imagination. I’m not sure how this works—and certainly I don’t need to know—but the thought of God expanding my imagination excites me!
Lastly, I’m a grandma, and at an age when I’m considering how the paths I choose today will impact my great, great, great granddaughters and grandsons.
Words found in Exodus 20:5 & 6 are sobering as well as encouraging: “I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, 6 but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.”
Recently, I heard Jodi Detrick, a woman who’s impacted my journey in significant ways, say,
“My legacy is the pathway of my life strewn with the contents of my heart.”
Jodi’s words cause my heart to pray, “Oh, Lord, may the contents of my heart include many, many “Yes, WHAT…” choices.”
After Billy Graham’s passing, I heard someone relate words from the great evangelist,
“End your journey well. Don’t waste your life, and don’t be satisfied with anything less than God’s plan.”
This quote, epitomizes the journey of a person who chose the Road of “Yes, WHAT…” more often than “Yes, BUT…” He left an example:
of one not willing to settle for “just okay,”
of a person who stepped with resolve and humility into the good work God ordained him to do, and
of a spouse, parent, grandparent and pastor to many who leaves a lovely legacy of faith.
What about you?
- How might your desires to live above the level of mediocrity; to accomplish the good work God planned for you; or to leave a lovely legacy help you tackle and rise above fear and step by faith onto The Road of “Yes, WHAT?”
Blessings on your journey of “listening” prayer…
When Ron and I were in Israel, quite by chance, we met a lovely young couple—Eli and Lena—who spent most of one day showing us around Tel Aviv. During their recent trip to Japan, they remembered my obsession with path photos and sent several. I’m calling these two path pictures, “The Roads of Yes, WHAT…” Thanks so much, Eli and Lena, for thinking of us!!