I have a friend who is in a lot of need. He calls in desperation a lot. I’ve given several bits of advice that I think if he did them it would keep him from getting so desperate. But he doesn’t do them and again he calls and groans to me how much pain he is in. I try to be kind and listen but the last time we talked I was feeling very fragile myself and just didn’t have the patience.
I told him, with frustration in my voice, “I organized people to meet with you consistently so you wouldn’t fall into such desperation, but you said it wasn’t really for you.”
I set up weekly calls with you, but you don’t answer.
I told you to write down the things you learn and refer to them when you need to remember what will help you.
But you have done none of those things, and instead just call me again when you’re desperate. You’re depending on me to change you. But I can’t do that if you don’t do your part. I’ve given you the tools but you just don’t do them.
And a couple days later I realized he is not the only one. Now I know how God feels. When I’ve prayed for help God has told me certain things to do. I get all emotional and have good intentions to change. But one week later I have completely left them behind.
And then I pray to him, doubting if he’s even real because he’s never really changed my life.
But maybe He is real, and has tried to touch my life, I just haven’t done my part.
I want to not only be the hearers of God’s voice, but be the practicer of his disciplines.
I must hear his instructions, be strategic to apply what I know about how I function, set up a plan I know I can stick to, and then execute on it whether I feel like it today or not.
Here is the first place I will start today. When one of those difficult thoughts that makes me feel so fragile comes, I will breathe in for a three count and recount what he has told me, “Trust in me,” and breath out a six count, “When these thoughts come to you.” And I will do this over and over like a mantra. Like a true discipline. Like a practice to recondition my mind and heart, like he has been trying to do in me for a long time. Consistent and habitual, with intention and hard work, like anything that can actually change anything.
Raw Spoon, 7-20-17