“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own insight.
In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”
Following the Openings
I am part of a 10-person group that meets three times a year in Boulder. In between these face-to-face meetings, we have an every-other-week Google hangout phone call, and also pray for each other via text (often focusing on one person’s needs for 21 days in a row). There are some good ways to stay connected with others through technology!
Over the last five days, two members of the group have shared similar things for the group to ponder. Kristie said something like this on a phone call last Friday: “I am trying to pay attention to where the openings are, and then follow the openings.” Yesterday Nancy texted all of us and said, “Sometimes when we are worried about something, something positive is trying to break through. What positive thing is trying to break through in your life today?”
For me, these suggestions overlap with Proverbs 3. God is always around, willing to offer guidance and presenting us with opportunities for faithfulness, growth, loving, and learning. “In all your ways acknowledge him...” For me, this means, “Be on the lookout for God - all the time! Be on the lookout for the openings and the positive things that are trying to break through!” God is behind those openings and those positive things that are emerging in your life and mine.
Last week a man showed up at church, a man who I had never met. I don’t know if I will ever see him again. He said he would love to play our piano. I invited him to return at 5 pm and play for a few minutes prior to Centering Prayer at 5:15. He said this was great, that he liked to play piano in a meditative way, and that it was a great way to move into prayer or to come out of prayer. (Isn’t this part of the role that music plays in our Sunday worship?) Anyway, Randall did come back at 5 pm last Wednesday. (I wasn’t sure if he would.) I asked him if he still wanted to play. He said “Yes, I would” and went over to the piano and started playing. He played, and the sound was gorgeous. Then Randall stayed for prayer... for the 25-30 minutes of silence that we share in Centering Prayer. Afterward he said that he had a very powerful experience while praying, and shared, “The stillness and quiet bring their own rewards. I don’t need to receive Communion. I am in communion with God right now!”
There was an opening with Randall, and I followed it. So did he! There was something positive trying to break through on an ordinary Wednesday in September (on what would have been my father’s 98th birthday). And break through it did!
I see God in these breakthroughs; I see God at work in these openings. Will we follow them? Will we trust in the Lord with all our hearts - trust in the Lord’s goodness and love and generosity? Will we acknowledge the Lord throughout the course of our day?
Where are the openings in your life today? Will you follow those openings? What positive thing is trying to break through in your life? Be open. That positive “thing” is the Lord God Almighty, urging you on.