For our Lenten Study at church we’re using Adam Hamilton’s “The Walk” as our study guide. He talks about the five essential spiritual practices all Christians should participate in to strengthen our walk with God: worship and prayer, study, service, giving, and sharing the good news with others. I think we all know these are important and we strive to incorporate them into our lives in one way or another, but I know I have been convicted to really look at these practices and transform them from rote habit to a deepening relationship with God.
As I prepared for the first week’s study: worship and prayer, I was struck by the simplicity of it all. Adam Hamilton describes it as saying, “thank you” and “I love you”. It’s easy for me to go to church and want the hymns I like sung and the sermon to be moving. I go to God in prayer with my list of requests. I explain what I’d like Him to do. I’m not glib or anything. I just think sometimes I miss the point of it all. I miss the majesty.
Remembering the majesty of God is easy; we just need to look around. Look up at the night sky and see the stars and realize how small we are and how big God is. Look at a newborn with their precious fingers and toes and realize the complexity of human life. Go for a walk and open your eyes to the diversity of nature. Notice the numerous plants and animals that are here for us to enjoy. Take in the beauty of the earth that is so easy to take for granted but, when we stop for a moment and just look, we can be blown away by a delicate flower or the weight of a rock.
Too often I squeeze God in between appointments instead of really thanking Him for all He has done for the world, for my family and for me. Too often I fail to take the time to just say, “God, I love you” without expecting something in return. So, this season, I’m going to try and just say, “thank you, I love you” and really mean it. Oh, I know I’ll still have my list in hand but I’m going to try to at least start with, “thank you, I love you” and let God take it from there.