It’s my fast day.
I’m not saying that to impress you, and I know we’re not meant to tell anyone, but it’s part of a confession, so maybe that makes it OK!
Actually I’m a bit rusty at fasting because of my ironman training, but my back’s bad and I feel a bit sorry for myself(!), and in this state of enforced humility, it’s been great to get back to what is for me a core life discipline – one that I believe is a biblical imperative that I’ve slacked off a lot recently. And I can definitely see the correlation between my slack and a dip in my prayer life.
It feels like I haven’t prayed in weeks, maybe months. How shocking is that? I mean, I’ve prayed every day, multiple times a day, sometimes even at 5am if that shows me as being ‘spiritual’, but honestly, I’ve felt pretty disconnected through most of those times, dutiful but distant. So stupid me, it takes getting a bad back to get me back to basics. What a slow learner! I’ve shared with others the huge lesson God challenged me with recently:
“The impact God wants you to have for Him does not come when you pursue impact, but when you pursue God.”
And yet as I review the last few months, I’m still stuck in that first half, rather than simply pursuing Him. Come on Simon!
I’ve also been preparing to preach this Sunday, and there are a few things that have really struck me afresh today in my quality and quantity time with the Lord:
- It’s not what you believe that counts, it’s what you believe enough to do.
- Repentance is being sorry enough to change.
- Grateful people make happy people.
On that last point, Burundi has taught me so much. I could list a number of issues that are weighing heavily on me – as doubtless you could as well – but there is so much to be grateful for. I’ll sign off with just a few of them, which I hope you’ll be able to echo:
I’m so grateful…
…to be alive today
…to have a patient Heavenly Father who doesn’t give up on me
…to be called to be a part of something so much bigger than myself
…to have the freedom to believe what I want and share it
…to be hungry only because I choose to
…to have such a sense of purpose in life
…to be part of my own and God’s worldwide family
…to have a body that mostly works amazingly well
…to have access to clean water, medical facilities, internet
…to know I’m accepted, forgiven, free from guilt, etc
Oh, the list could go on, but just writing those few ones down makes me feel even more grateful. Give it a go!