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Have you noticed that young children rarely miss anything in their environment? They can be caught up in the joy of the smell, look, and touch of a flower or a rock. Their sensory development is growing at a phenomenal rate so the wonder of each thing they discover captures their attention. Each thing seems to bring them joy as well.
How good it would be if growing up didn’t result in us losing so much of that. Our captivation with our techie devices and our busy days put us in a haze much of the time. We may not notice the smallest of things that are nearer our feet or farther away. We may not notice the unique sounds of the birds, squirrels, and other small animals that inhabit our neighborhood. They get filed in that thing we call “background noise” much of the time. And how sad that is.
It is these very things that can give us a sense of some things still being right in the world when we notice a snippet of creation still going on as it has for century after century. It can remind us we are a part of something larger beyond the latest trends, culture, or opinions.
Photo by Pam Ecrement
This little squirrel decided to get acquainted with my husband while he eats breakfast many days while it sits just outside the French doors on our deck. It’s fascinating how long he will sit perched on the deck railing in the morning watching my husband while my husband watches him.
Over and over again in the New Testament of the Bible Jesus exhorts those listening to him to be like little children. I cannot help but think it means we would be capturing the small things like children do. But there are other things about children and being childlike that are things that could also be of value to us. Children do not hesitate to ask for what they want or need. They don’t think long about it, whether it is big or small, possible, or impossible. Their parents rarely are in doubt about something a child wants or needs because they find many ways to let them know.
As we get older that changes as well. This change affects many relationships including our prayer life with God. We may look to Him for big things but are not so sure we should bother Him with the little daily details we consider too small.
We tend to have goals for a day or a week. Some of us keep track of them on our calendars because they are connected to appointments we may have. Others of us write lists and still others have a running list in our heads. The challenge for all of us is that life happens in the midst of a day or week and the plan gets sabotaged. It happens to most all of us.
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I recently had a couple of days like that and in journal time with the Lord the next morning, I asked Him to lead the day so I could accomplish what I needed to do according to what He knew were the key priorities. I told Him I needed help. I just couldn’t seem to steward my time as well as I believed I needed to do.
By the end of that very day, I managed to complete everything on my mental list and several things I had been wanting to get to that weren’t on the list. I was reminded that every day if my time with Him comes first and I offer a similar prayer confessing I am not so good at stewarding my days. He leads me through a day with far better results than when I don’t.
What would happen if we did this more often with the little details of our days? These aren’t the big prayers we think we should be focusing on like someone with cancer, a job loss for another person, or a long list of the things we believe should be handed over to God because they are out of our control.
Nothing is too small to bring to Him. It might be praying for help finding a lost item, asking for green lights when traffic snarls are holding us up for an appointment, or praying for a parking place. The list of little things that bother us or that we need help with can be endless. He wants us to be real with Him and not simply pray what we think He wants to hear.
“We just don’t think God could be concerned with the puny details of our lives. We either believe he’s too big or that we’re not that important. No wonder Jesus told us to be like little children! Little children are not daunted by the size of their parents. They come regardless.”Paul Miller
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God wants to have a relationship with us of the most intimate kind where we share the deepest things within us whether bothering us, hurting us, or leaving us confused. If He knows the numbers of hair on our head (Luke 12:7) there is nothing too big or small He doesn’t want to hear about. Prayer in all its forms is an invitation to linger and share, pour it all out, not unlike when we share at a deep level with a friend over a long coffee date.
“When we stop being ourselves with God, we are no longer in real conversation with God.”Paul Miller
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