Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it;
Prone to leave the God I love:
Take my heart, oh, take and seal it
Seal it for Thy courts above.*
We met in person and the only rule was that the coffee had to be ready. Some women wore full make up and panty hose because they’d go straight to the office from there. Others wore pj pants and sweatshirts with messy hair buns. We simply drank coffee and shared our prayer requests and prayed together. That was the agenda.
You’d think this group of committed lady pray-ers would be stress-free in that we easily turned over all our troubles to the LORD. But we were often Stress Storms with our babies and illnesses and work loads. There was a season when each of us was especially overwhelmed and someone brought in a guided meditation recording to help us focus on letting our stresses float away. We closed our eyes and breathed deeply while the guide helped us envision a new perspective. This was a gist of the meditation that slowly proceeded for 10 minutes or so until we were supposed to finish with lighter souls:
We are standing in a beautiful field. The sky is blue. The air is fresh. (Breathe deeply)
There is a colorful hot air balloon tethered to stakes in the ground in front of us. (Still breathing deeply)
The basket of the balloon is empty (still breathing) and one by one, we place our cares in the basket until the basket of the balloon is full.
Now that the basket is full, we slowly but deliberately untie the balloon from the stakes and watch it slowly, slowly get released into the blue sky . . .
This is when several of us opened our eyes at the same time and said “Wait! Stop the balloon. I’m in the basket!”
We have a hard time separating from our stresses, even if we are Praying People. I don’t have quick answers about how to remedy this except to say that it takes practice and a commitment to pray intentionally every day. I am prone to lift up hit-and-run prayers throughout the day, but what I really need is a chunk of time – like 20 minutes – to get to the point of feeling like I’ve actually released my life to God.
Prone to wander, LORD I feel it. Trying to do better today in the thick of Zoom Call life.
*Lyrics from Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing by Robert Robinson (1758)