I already know this about myself, but I get inspired easily and excited on the front end of something new and that lasts about, oh, ten minutes... Twelve if it's a really good idea (like a mustache party). Today I had the unique and rich opportunity to spend the whole day retreating with seven other pastors in various denominations and roles serving right here in this community. Besides the witty theological banter and sweet fellowship in a cozy, fire-warmed home, my favorite part was reflecting and writing a prayer for my own soul followed by reflecting and writing a prayer for my "flock". As I confessed my desire for fresh water to be washed through me, and as we shared our prayers with one another, inspiring each other to greater depths, rest was restored and God's presence felt. Then the beauty of praying my big dreams for students woke up in me again and I was completely stirred without even having enough words to put on what I desire for them. As Paul prayed, that his flock would know how high and wide and long and deep is the love of Christ, I felt that desire and prayed that it would go into students' core, this knowledge of God's love. Oh, what a swell of excitement! So be it, Lord, and Amen!
Reflecting on this beautiful day shared, I am re-inspired to stay inspired. I am always charged up after meeting together with other campus groups, peers in ministry, receiving training--heck, even having a deep conversation on a regular day--and this brings my vision into sharp focus again. I can see life being breathed back into who I am and what I do. I want to challenge myself to get inspired, to hold these life-breathing things right in front of me. To write prayers of vision, to ask for more dreams. Beyond keeping a machine running or just adding more to the calendar, I want to grab hold of what is truly Life and dream that for those around me.
Here are a few excerpts from today's prayers...
Prayer for my soul:
"Refresh by your Spirit, make me not weary in well doing, but rested and filled to overflowing, like rivers that teem with life. Spark imagination, creativity, vitality as I walk in your excellent Way. I hide my very self in you. Good Father, take the burden of task, of responsibility, and carry that. I understand the weight and significance of my life and role, but your name, God, is weightier. Take the burden and the glory."
Prayer for my sheep:
"I want them to know you, to know your love way down into the marrow of their bones, under their skin, rooted like an oak in their gut. I want your light to dance in their eyes, to glow out of their unveiled faces. Oh, that they would chase you and you would show up right in our midst. That your rule and reign would be established right here, your kingdom touching us and changing the very color of life around us. May they grab hold of what is truly Life and change the world."