Noticing what’s different.
Sometimes it’s easier to notice ourselves than it is to notice God.
For instance, here are some of the things that churned through my mind this morning:
- I need to talk to my co-worker about a transition plan. I wonder what we’ll decide to do.
- I wish things weren’t so hard with my friend right now. My heart is really sad.
- It feels like Jesus has turned me out on my own. I miss what we used to share.
- I need to see my doctor this month. I hope it’s not too late to make an appointment.
- That reminds me: I need to refill my prescriptions.
- I hope it wasn’t a mistake to schedule my haircut for the morning hours next week.
- What are we having for dinner again tonight?
Thoughts can churn through our minds like wildfire, leaving a burned trail of debris as they go — all of which affect our disposition and outlook, often without our notice.
Anxiety. Worry. Sadness and grief. Self-criticism. Hyper-drive.
All of these affectations settled on me this morning as my thoughts churned from one thing to the next and I moved through the motions of the day. I was barely aware of the need to stop and notice their effect on me until I walked to the kitchen like a bit of a zombie to refill my coffee and Kirk asked how I was doing.
He could tell something was up, but all I could do was shrug. “A lot on my mind,” I said. “I’ll be okay.”
I didn’t have to be okay, though. Kirk reminded me of the value of paying attention when he offered to hear what I was holding. And after hearing it, he offered to pray with me.
What we notice in ourselves — our worries, sadnesses, anger, preoccupations, and even delirious joys — can be wide-open gateways to notice and find God. When we notice what’s going on, we can bring it to prayer and ask God to be in it with us. To teach us in it. To hold us in it. To help us know where to go with it.
What do you notice about yourself today? Can you bring that to God in prayer?