Thursday, July 10, 2008

Auto-Pilot

I have had the rather unnerving experience of arriving at a destination after a 20-30 minute drive, only to put the van in park and think to myself, "I don't even remember the drive here!". Looking back over the miles I'd just traveled, I would realize that I had just been automatically doing the right things to get me where I needed to go. Still a little scary, though, and I know you know what I mean if you have ever done the same thing.

Equally as disturbing to me are the nights that I pillow my head in the darkness, and then think "Lord, did I commune with you on purpose today?" Sometimes the days seem so long, and that time of morning prayer or prayer with the children seems like a distant memory in the fog by the time I wind it all down for the night. God is so faithful, forgiving, and longsuffering with me. How many nights have I fallen asleep whispering, "I'll do better tomorrow"......

I don't want to live my spiritual life on auto-pilot. I want to intentionally seek to understand the things of God more. I want to read His Word with anticipation of learning. I want to be a ready vessel when He wants to pick me up and pour me out. And I know these things don't happen when we're "asleep at the wheel". The Bible tells us to BE VIGILANT! We have an adversary who walks around seeking to destroy us!

Before I finish off these rambling thoughts, I wanted to add one more thing about God's mercy. There have been specific times in my life, the most recent one I remember being the weeks following Reagan' birth, when I have been too drained of everything physically, emotionally, and spiritually to be that "vigilant" watchman. That's pretty common I think after having a new baby! But there are other stages of life when this occurs as well. During those weeks, the only prayer I seemed able to pray, especially at night, was something like this, "Lord, please don't forget about me. Don't give up on me. I don't have anything to give right now, but if you'll just hold me until everything balances itself again...I WILL serve you with all that is within me!" I know that sure doesn't sound very spiritual or probably very theologically sound. But my testimony is that through those days of auto-pilot, God was still very much in the control room. Every night, I sensed that it was okay. He's big enough to handle it all. And, best of all, He did hold me until I was strong again.

I wouldn't want to live my life that way permanently, but I'm very thankful that when the circumstances of life necessitate it, we serve Someone who can be trusted to be there on the other side of it all. After all, perhaps it bears mentioning Who pilots this rig in the first place!

Well, I guess it's pretty obvious who these thoughts are for this morning: just me, really. But if it can serve as a reminder or wake-up call to any reader, then that's good news too.

I Peter 5:8-9 "Be sober, Be vigilant! Because your adversary the Devil, as a roaring lion walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world."

6 comments:

Jenn said...

Great reminder Tara! Thanks! :-) Hope all is going well for ya'll this summer...miss ya!

Kimberly said...

Well-said and challenging!
I too NEED the reminder to not just coast along mindlessly, yet at the same time totally identify with times where all I can do is keep trusting...holding on. Also so grateful for His mercy and trustworthiness! Hang in there!

(On a trivial note, are you familiar with the group "Asleep at the Wheel"...awesome Texas Swing music!!:)

Kim M. said...

I was taking a shower later this evening before going to my in laws and I was standing there thinking "did I get distracted during prayer this morning because I don't remember praying for so and so"??? Then after thinking about it, I had... but still did I just pray for them mindlessly?

I am really thankful that we can cry out to Him all during our day too. A book I am reading (called Passionate Housewives Desperate for God) says to pray in "droplets" throughout your day.

Even just saying "Lord what should I do about this?". I am learning more and more to do that these days. He has shown Himself so faithful during those times of crying out and begging for wisdom.
The other night I was having a disciplinary issue with one of the boys. This child is SOOOOOOOO stubborn. And I said "JESUS, PLEASE HELP ME". I was on the brink of tears. And I felt Him come rushing to my side. It was so amazing. My answers started coming right then and there. The still small voice type of answers.. the thoughts that were not my own thoughts.
He assures me He is here and cares. I remember those days of having a little baby being the most difficult spiritually. He does know your heart.

Ladyluck said...

I am so thankful that God DOES see and know and understand. I struggle with the balance between knowing that God isn't holding it aginst me, and knowing that if I clear my plate for just a little time with him, I will benefit SO much. I need it (time with him) so much...and I also want my kids to see that time with God is a priority. But then there are days (and weeks) when it seems like survival is the priority.

Balance. Wow, what's a mother to do?

jenny said...

Hey Tara! I'm so glad to read that things are moving on (I know it will take a while to get better) since my last readings on your blog. I thought of you as our family toured the WWII war memorial!!!

This is a great post. Thanks for your honesty. I can definitely relate. For me personally the struggle is between striving to live the disciplined life with the restful life. There are times when I feel like I'm at the bottom of the rope and I want so bad to climb up it...and think it's all about my efforts to pull myself up...that's when I need the reminder that my Lord is standing right beneath me wanting me to rest in His arms simply because He (the author of the universe) enjoys (yes even longs!!) for MY presence.

On the other hand, I love the optimism that a "holiness" worldview brings. The belief that God is the author of change and transformations and that all of us (His children) are on a journey of being recreated into the image of His Son. He allows us to respond to Him and therefore are actions are of consequence. He gives the grace we need to respond to Him.

I'm not always the hugest fan of modern choruses but I have loved this verse from How Deep the Father's Love for Us over this past year:

I will not boast in anything,
No gifts, no power, no wisdom;
But I will boast in Jesus Christ,
His death and resurrection.
Why should I gain from His reward?
I can not give an answer.
But this I know with all my heart;
His wounds have paid my ransom

Tara said...

I didn't mean to let these comments go un-responded to! Sorry, ladies! Your input always refreshes my spirit. Sometimes it's just comforting to know that others walk a path like our own. Easy to become ensnared with the cares of life and fail to nurture the 'relationship' that is our "religion". The one thing that truly sets us apart from all other world religions...the opportunity for true communion with the one we serve! What an awesome privilege.

Kimber: Yes, I HAVE heard of that group...funny you should think of it! :)

Jenn: Good to have you weigh in again...glad your trip was enjoyable. Isn't the WWII memorial amazing? As for the chorus, I love that one too. But it hardly fits the profile of "modern"...it reminds me more of a Charles Wesley hymn! :)

Blessings on you all!