Holy Discontent

| — Rev. Brandon Dirks — |

A Prayer of Discontent

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Promises

O God,

Each year at this time I make promises.  This year, I will make no promises.

I don’t know what to do.  I have made petty promises to myself; half-hearted promises to You.  Although I think I am well-intentioned, my promises usually seek to benefit only myself.  Forgive my self-centeredness.  Protect me from another year of selfishness.

I don’t know how to pray.  I have prayed as if You serve me, instead of me serving You.  My feeble attempts to pray assume I understand who You are and how You should love me.  Forgive my arrogance.  Protect me from another year pride.

I don’t know what to pray for. I have prayed as if You are my personal handyman—asking You to fix my problems and the problems of the world according to my designs and desires.  Forgive my self-interest.  Protect me from another year of egotism.

I don’t know who You are.  I have prayed as if You know me but I have done little to know You.  I want You to care about what I care about, but I have done little to care about what You care about.  Forgive my laziness.  Protect me from another year of lethargy.

Even so, You patiently listen to me.  You carefully consider me.  You always respond.

This year, the only promise I will make is that I will make no promises.

I will not promise to lose weight.

I will not promise to get the garage cleaned out.

I will not promise to exercise more.

I will not promise to spend more time with my family.

I will not promise to enjoy life more.

I will not promise to spend less and get out of debt.

I will not promise to be more tolerant of others.

I will not promise to read a book or learn something new.

I will not promise to attend church more.

I will not promise to give more money to the needy.

I will not promise to read the Bible more.

I will not even promise to pray more.

Maybe…for the first time in my life, I will stand on Your promises.

You promised to supply my every need.  What do I really need?

You promised Your grace will cover me.  Do You love me that much?

You promised me an abundant life. What is it that really matters?

You promised me a plan for my life.  Do I have the courage?

You promised that nothing will separate Your love from me. Can I face Your foes?

You promised me that all things work together for good.  Can I serve You selflessly?

You promised to forgive me.  Am I free to live boldly on earth?

You promised me eternal life. Has Jesus changed my life?

Drown out my voice.  Help me to hear not just Your words, but Your voice.  For in Your voice is where I belong.

Inspire me to daringly live as if I truly believe Your promises.

So be it.

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