Friday, 13 October 2017

Failure to plan is planning to fail.

It’s been a long day. I’ve spent much of it planning ahead, preparing future services and compiling grant forms. I’ve spent time phoning colleagues and agencies. All these conversations seem to start with questions like, “Are you free next Tuesday?” or “Can I have such and such by next week … ?” Sometimes it feels like hard work. But planning and preparing is always time well spent. As they say, failure to plan is planning to fail.
    Much of what passes for Christian spirituality emphasises a living in the present moment. That can be a good start. But we need to plan any spiritual encounter. Coming into the presence of God the Almighty without any prior preparation is actually telling God that he is not really worth our attention. If we would prepare before meeting the Queen or the Prime Minister, how much more should we prepare ourselves before any encounter with God.
    There are many ways of preparing before we enter God’s presence. If we intend a time of intercessory prayer, we can fruitfully draw up a list of the needy during the day. Spiritual reading and fasting are a good start if we need to seek God’s counsel before a big decision. Even our “routine” time of prayer each evening can become a more intimate encounter if we put everything else to one side at a pre-determined time beforehand. (Twenty minutes is a useful start.)
    My long day is over. I’ve switched off my computer and fled from the phone. I’m seeking God, as I knew I would need to be at this time in the day. And it was well worth waiting for. After all, what else can, ”Seek the Lord while he may be found” mean?

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