Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Expanding NEBAI

Eons ago, in 2001, actually, I wrote a prayer that revealed my need to slow down, even if it was just the few relaxing moments I spent in the bathtub.

Today I filled the tub, plopped in a fizzy ball and sank into the hot water, relaxing inch by inch, as I submerged myself. “Sermons in the Tub” came to mind with full gusto, again.

“Lord I always seem to hear You….
when I’m listening….
when I’m listening to what You want to say to me…
I never seem hear You at all 
when I’m listening for what I want You to say,
the way I want You to say it.
I hear You when there’s very little 
if anything else at all that I can be doing.
You increase Your Word, only when I’m using it, not when I need it, 
not when I want it; but only when I’m using it.
When the widow fed Elijah, it was Your Word, Lord, that sustained her, only when she relented 
and gave up what she could do to sustain herself.
When Your disciples fed the multitudes from a basket of a few fishes and a loaf of bread, did they grow tired of feeding before all were fed, or did their level of excitement overwhelm their weariness –
because they saw the increase of Your Word…as it was used?
Today is a great day, without it of course, tomorrow would not come.
Today is a day of release, of letting go...of using Your Word,
so that You can cause the increase as I need it.
If I don’t let go of what I no longer need,
where will You give me what You want me to have now?
If I don’t let go to death, where will You give life.
If I’m listening for only what I want to hear You say,
where will You speak, that I would listen?”

I need to listen more and talk less. I get that. I also need to do better at being honest with myself.

 Using dietary illustrations again, there have been occasions when I’ve eaten something sugary or fatty and felt horrible afterward, and not just from conviction or guilt over eating it. I felt bloated, lazy, sleepy, queasy, sometimes even nauseous. (Then add to that, being mad at myself for consciously putting that poison in my mouth.) Those are not the words I want to use when describing how I feel. Yet, the time comes when I’m tempted to eat those very same things again – simply because my taste buds crave them or I’m feeling lonely or frustrated. If I were honest with myself when contemplating what I should do, I’d admit that those foods won’t comfort me, they’ll make me feel worse than I may already feel.

I know how those foods will make me feel. But, when I’m too busy for my own good and my focus is all over the map, not only do I not listen to what God wants to say to me, I don’t even listen to what I have to say to myself.

(by Eleanor Craig)
If you look at my life from an outsider’s point of view, you’d never guess I’m too busy. Even as I survey what I get done in a day, it’s not really all that much, most of the time. So, it’s not that I’m too busy doing things; my mind is too busy.

So, not only when I find myself being tempted to eat something that won’t be good for my body, but also when I catch my mind rushing around in pointless circles, I’m going to try to incorporate my NEBAI practice. (See my last blog post here for more on that.)

The catchy part will be noticing when my mind is evading me. Ha-ha!

Okay, Lord – I’m listening. For now.
“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” – Romans 8:28 (KJV)

I’m thankful that God is so patient with me, working everything together for my good and His glory. I think it’s His very good pleasure to work in us; with us, fulfilling His promises in our lives.

“The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, 
as some men count slackness; 
but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, 
but that all should come to repentance.” – 2 Peter 3:9 (KJV)


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