I’ve been spending more time in prayer lately, feeling convicted that I need to be listening more and being more open to what God is doing and wants to do in my life. If you’re like me, you go through periods when busyness crowds out discernment, and activities crowd out time to listen.
One of the clear promptings I’m experiencing is to be more thankful, and most of all, to be thankful that we serve a good God. Spending time dwelling on God’s character, his mercy, his patience, his persistence, his love, his faithfulness and yes his discipline draws us closer to him. Focusing on him takes attention away from me and lets me realize just how wonderful and in-control God is. The fact that he reached down to us, showed us how to live, and even offered his Son to pay for our sins is mind-blowing when you really take the time to consider it.
At the C.S. Lewis Institute, we’re spending time each day thanking God for so many blessings, and seeking clarity about fulfilling the mission of the Institute. We’re making this a priority, and it keeps us grounded as we go about our day-to-day activities.
In my private prayer time, I’ve spent time thanking God for putting people in my life over the years. I’ve felt compelled to dwell on the people in my life who have impacted me in a profound way. I’m convinced that God used many different people – whether they knew it or not – to guide me on a certain path. As a follow-on to this time in prayer, I’m going to spend time in the next few weeks writing letters to at least ten people whom I believe God put in my life to make a significant difference.
Some of these will be childhood friends and parents of close friends. Some will be mentors who have pointed me in significantly new directions. One will be a friend who really took her faith seriously and challenged me when I was just beginning that walk. One will be a friend whom I met and knew for only a couple of days but who introduced me to the person that set me on a rewarding career path. One will be to my mom who prayed for me all those years and still does. One will be to my wife who lives her life filled with Christ’s love and models it in her love for me and for our family and friends.
My plan is to write ten letters and then reflect every few months about others I should add to the list. Perhaps it will be an encouragement to them, and perhaps they might reflect on those God put in their path and shaped their lives.
I would encourage you to reflect on God’s character and what he has done in your life. Spend some time in thanks and dwell on how God has used people and events to shape you. God desires each of to grow in understanding, knowledge and maturity and he works in a variety of ways to do this.