On the long bus ride back from the ski trip, we took a Prayer Break where all distractions were put away. Or at least that was the intent. My distractions are often in my head (aka mentally writing), so eliminating those are hard but I really tried. No iPod, no cell phones, no movie, no talking; only talking to God.
I folded my hands but opted against closing my eyes. If I closed my eyes, I probably would have fallen asleep. Besides, who wants to close their eyes while riding through the beautiful mountains?
Katie: Hey, God, I absolutely love these mountains You've created. I'm willing to risk motion-sickness and take my eyes off the road to enjoy this beautiful creation You've made. Every tree perfectly formed and every mountain hump meticulously placed. The effort and precision amazes me!
God: You know, Katie, I put the same amount of effort and precision into creating you.
My prayer time could have been over right then and there. I was content; I was filled. But it wasn't. There was still eighteen minutes to go, and God had more things He wanted to teach me. He often teaches me through the things I see (another reason I didn't want to close my eyes).
We passed a sign that said, "Rest Area. No facilities."
I began to think to myself about how dumb that is: a rest area with no facilities. As we drew closer there was another sign stating it's a look-out point without facilities. Ok, beautiful but not practical.
We all, women especially, want to be considered beautiful. Most of us enjoy feeling pretty. In fact, sometimes when we're getting gussied up we don't pay attention to the practical. We're too concerned with "Does this look good" than "Will I be able to walk in these shoes?" We much rather have lovely long eye lashes than realize we can't see because mascara is making lines down our glasses every time we blink. I prayed that God make my life practical rather than beautiful.
Maybe He doesn't have fame and glory in my future. Maybe my blog will never have more than eleven readers. Maybe the words He's given me have a deep impact on those eleven readers and draw them closer to Him. Maybe that type of intimacy isn't available in a community with a larger reading audience. Maybe one day I'll be ok with that. I prayed that day would be soon. Make my life practical rather than beautiful.
Not five minutes later, the Garmin fell. Sitting in the front seat of the bus, I crawled forward, rescued it off the dash board, stuck it back together, and re-suctioned it to the windshield.
"Good in theory; poor in design," the bus driver said to me with a smile.
I am a firm believer that things should be designed by the people who are going to use them. College students should design dorm rooms. Teachers and students should design classrooms. Doctors and nurses should design hospitals. Bus drivers should design Garmins.
However, there is one exception to this rule. One time when the "thing" being used should not be designed by the user. Life. My life should not be designed by me, the liver (aka the person living it). Instead, I believe life should be designed by God. After all, the life we create is good in theory but poor in design. The life we make is beautiful but not practical.
Travel with me through the mountains of life and into this dangerous prayer:
Abba Father, make my life practical rather than beautiful. Wipe away my good theories and replace them with Your great designs. Let me be ok with it.
Let me know how I can pray for you and have a wonderful week!