I had a rough week. I’m sure I’m not the only one with this experience. Let’s face it, some weeks are better or worse than others. For me, the difference is how I deal with the ups and downs in my life.
After a particularly rough couple of days I went to my favorite prayer place, lit a candle and asked God to guide me in prayer. I expected a typical dialogue between the Divine and the delinquent (I am the latter). What I received was a song. This isn’t the first time I shared this experience with God. A lot of the songs and poems I write come from spending time in prayer and asking God to help solve my problem du jour. Here are the words God gave me:
Steer me past emotion. Chase my fears away. Help me find surrender. Calm my heart today. Take me. Make me. Show me and mold me, Lord. Reach me. Teach me. Raise me. Amaze me, Lord.
Lord, lift me higher; higher than the dreams my heart can know. Set me on fire; fan the flame that burns within my soul.
Lead me to the answers. Point me to the truth. Set me on your path, Lord. I will walk with you. Take me. Make me. Show me and mold me, Lord. Reach me. Teach me. Raise me. Amaze me, Lord.
Lord lift me higher; higher than the dreams my heart can know. Set me on fire; fan the flame that burns within my soul.
There’s more to the song, but that’s the heart of it: Wanting God to help me get “back on track” with my life and to continue to lift me up when I am down. As with most songs that God gives me I am tweaking the melody, the chords, and the lyrics to best tell the story. This process usually consumes me (i.e., waking up with the song playing in my head) until I put it all on paper and say, “Enough is enough.” I’m almost to that stage and have enjoyed reflecting on the feelings I am experiencing through words and music.
I am reading a wonderful book, “How Big Is Your God?” by a Jesuit priest, Paul Coutinho. Several friends have recommended the book and it made its way to the top of my reading pile. What a treasure. I’m about half way through the book and am enjoying reading and reflecting on these simple but profound chapters that help you “Experience the Divine.”
The connection between the song I am writing and the book I am reading is the thought I have been reflecting about recently. We are taught that we are made in the image and likeness of God. That’s what I believe, but is that what I live? As I reflect on my life experiences I detect that many people (myself among them) focus more on making God in their image and likeness – limiting God and his grace to a tidy little package that allows us to feel comfortable in our faith. I’m pretty sure that’s not what God wants from us. It’s the other way around: God wants to form us (not us form God). And so, time in prayer, writing songs, and reading good books helps me reflect on all of this.
My prayer is to allow God to continue to form me and to lift me up when I am down. This is the life I want to live.
What is your prayer this day?
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