Sunday, January 6, 2013

What I Like To Do

When a conversation is started with a stranger, where it goes is never predictable.  Sometimes it is surprising.  Sometimes it is inspiring.  The one I had today while waiting in line for the Panera clerk to take my order was both surprising and inspiring.  After talking about menu possibilities, I asked about the Baptist church bulletin I saw in his hand.  At that point the conversation shifted in a different direction.  As I shared that I was a retired United Methodist pastor, he said he had often thought about entering the ministry.  When I asked if he had ever done any speaking or preaching, he said "Yes," and then there was a long pause.  "What I really like to do is pray," was what came next.  
When was the last time someone told you that he or she liked to pray? When was the last time you told someone else that you liked to pray?  Most of the time prayer is spoken of as if it is some bear to be wrestled.  Most folks talk about prayer as something that is more of a duty or discipline.  Seldom does anyone speak of it as something to be anticipated, or enjoyed, or liked.  To hear this young man say he liked to pray in the context of ministry was more than refreshing.  It was a word which has stayed with me all day causing me to reflect about my own praying.  It was a word which surely brought great delight to the heart of God.

All of us are alike in that we like for other folks to like us.  We like for other people to enjoy spending time with us.  Today I met a man who told me what he liked most about his walk with God was spending time with God.  It sounds very simple.  More important than presenting an extensive must have list to God is this thing of being in the presence of God.  The guy who was waiting with me in line had it figured out.  I am thankful for my conversation with him.  It was a great reminder and Word from God for a preacher who had just left the pulpit and a sermon on prayer.   

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