By: Rev. Brandon Dirks
I am discontent with the Discover Your Path workbook. If you are not new to my blogs, you understand what I mean by “Holy discontent.” But as a reminder…my discontent is not a human understanding of some kind of aggravation that must be avoided. Rather, Holy discontent is actually a gift from God—that’s what makes discontent, ‘holy.’ It is a reminder that God is trying to do something with me, that God is trying to encourage me to explore the edges of my spiritual comfort zone. For years in my life, when I feel this sort of discontent, I would write it off, ignore it, or do whatever I can to get back to my comfort-filled life. But now, I want to explore it…because God’s gifts are good—even if I feel a little discontent.
As I have been exploring the first week of Christ Church’s stewardship emphasis through our wonderful Discover Your Path personal reflection and assessment workbook, I have been enamored by two things.
First, the cover. The cover image is a stone pathway that leads into a beautiful mountainous landscape. But as I look closer, I notice that many of the stones on the path are engraved with key words such as prayer, gifts, witness, presence, service—over and over again. I was struck by the notion that my pathway to a deeper, more beautiful relationship with Christ is paved by my prayer, my gifts, my witness, my presence, and my service. That is what makes my path and my relationship with Jesus unique. How do you interpret the cover picture?
Then, as I opened the pages, I realized that this workbook was about to help me walk this path!
Second, the invitation. On page 3 is a typical invitation, but I was drawn in by the scripture from 2 Corinthians 13:5 (NIV) “Examine yourselves to see whether you are living in the faith.Test yourselves. Do you not realize that Jesus Christ is in you?” These two sentences sent my quiet time into new dimensions!
Examine myself. Test myself. These are words that our culture really understands. I keep seeing these weird tests on Facebook and in magazines: which Harry Potter character are you? How good are you in bed? Which fashion clique do you belong to?
But the next sentence really narrowed my scope. Do I realize that Jesus Christ is in me? Do I REALLY REALIZE that Jesus Christ is IN ME? Where? When did that happen? In what ways? How deeply? What difference has it made? Do I want Jesus in me?
How did that scripture impact you?
I was excited to begin the workbook to answer those important questions. What I found amazed me!
When I reflected on my prayer life, I realized that there are several areas that I am doing really well. In fact, compared to last year…my prayer life has really stepped up. I am including scripture memorization and working hard on listening to God as much as I talk to Him. But when I looked over the assessment, I noticed that I answered almost half with “no’s” or “sometimes.” I have room to improve.
After reflection, the step forward I want to make is really quite simple, but I think it will dramatically change my prayer life and thus my relationship with God: every time someone asks me to pray for them, whether in person, by email, on the phone…I am going to pray for them RIGHT THEN! I will also invite them to pray with me! I don’t care if we are in a restaurant, in the hallway at church, or talking at a ball game. I will do it right then. When people request me to pray for them, I don’t want to just say that I will, I want to actually do it!
What did you discover in week one?