Better Twice

I am nearly 50 years old and nowhere near a Biblical scholar; my time in the church has been erratic until recently. My study of the Bible has been even more erratic; I preferred to intellectualize my beliefs and rationalize my departures from what I was told was Christian living. In doing so, I’ve had a lot of fun, yet I’ve experienced a lot of pain. I’ve also given a lot of fun to other people, and I’ve also caused pain to many people, including those I love. One day I thought my good deeds may not outweigh my bad deeds (as if that is a measure of anything).

Clearly, I finally came to see, my way wasn’t working.

The passage I read yesterday was Psalm 1:1-6 (paraphrased): Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked … but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night.

Perhaps better than anything else I’ve read since making time each day to read through the Bible, this verse explains to me what it is I’m doing. I’m trying to turn away from my old, unfulfilling ways to set out on a new path, one on which I cannot be my own leader. God is my leader, and my wife and the friends in our church we’ve begun to surround ourselves with are my keepers.

I have much turning away to do, and I fear it will not be easy, but I believe I will be much happier on the new path I’ve chosen. Yet I remain fearful and many questions press on my mind. For instance, I say my prayers after going to bed and sometimes I fall asleep before I finish them (I pray all the time and have for years, but I was foolish enough once to think that alone was enough). So now I wonder, does God hear my unfinished prayers?

I don’t know yet if he does, so when I awaken and then can’t remember if I said “Amen” the night before, I just start over. Better twice than not at all, I think.

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I am a depraved, morally bankrupt wretched sinner through and through. I’ve attended church sporadically most of my life, haven’t spent a minute in seminary and only recently gave the Bible more than a cursory review. I’ve attended exactly one theology class and I dropped out of that. However, in spite of my moral infidelity, I’ve come to be filled with the Holy Spirit. I’ve learned my salvation isn’t the result of what I do, but rather what Jesus has done on my behalf. I didn’t find the Holy Spirit, He found me. And in our relationship I have invited Him to change me, to use me for His purpose, to conquer my will with His own. Praise the Lord, for even an unworthy, chronic sinner like me can experience and give testimony to His glory!
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