Wednesday, January 16, 2008
Weak of prayer, part 2: Confession
Here's the post that, on the one hand, could derail this whole project, as I put it off in fear. On the other hand, once I get started it could be the one that breaks my commitment to "short and sweet"; God knows I could go on for terrabytes. Do remember I have agreed to self-censor, meaning that in the dizzying spiral of my fatherly shortcomings, this list is but the first loop.
OK, here goes.
Day 2 - Confession
Lord, I get really tired sometimes, and wish for a life of ease and sterile convenience rather than the rich, rough road that fatherhood is. I spend too much time resisting the blessings of raising my children rather than savoring them. I still wonder at times why You muddied the clear waters of Your existence by creating life beyond Yourself.
I too often discipline my children out of anger rather than wisdom. It's like the darker side of the affection thing, where they get what they need--mostly a reprimand and timeout or slap on the hand--but my motives are more about meeting my need to act out frustration than about helping them become more like You. Teach me to discipline in cold blood, for their sake and not my own.
I really enjoy telling my children "no" when they ask for things. It's just that I think they need to learn to deal with negative responses to their requests, to grow out of their egocentric sense of entitlement. But something in the way I relish the denial of their petition seems wrong in light of "Ask, and you will receive....If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!" Help me to learn a spirit of abundance rather than scarcity, even if it is best not to indulge my kids' every cry of "I want..."
I can get more into projects--even this writing--than into the people You have given me to love and lead. Teach me to balance all lesser callings against the greatest calling.
Rachelle prayed aloud the other day in a group of adults, and it was the first non-kiddie prayer I'd heard her utter in months. This is not for lack of Rachelle praying, but because I have not been making prayer with her a priority. Give us a commitment to shared time with You.
I so quickly grow impatient with people in my life, and with myself. Teach me to slow down.
I feel so angry so much of the time, frustrated with myself when things do not go as I feel they ought. I say words that deny the image of You in me, words devoid of hope or faith. Release me from the rut of anger.
I frequently let circumstances or someone else determine our family's plans, and then I complain about how things turn out and feel like a victim. Teach me to take more responsibility for planning or to shut up about the end result.
I sometimes let time slip away at work that could be life-changing if reallocated to home. Make me a penny pincher of time when I'm away from my family and liberally generous when with them.
I don't like to admit that I'm wrong. Remind me to confess--to you and to my family--my sins, mistakes, failures and whatever euphemisms I have for when I blow it.
And remind me as I do so that Your grace dwarfs them all.
That's enough for now...I have the balance of the year for you all to hear the rest of the bad and the ugly.