Feb 11, 2009

Sports and Purpose in the New Year

Two weeks ago at church, when a coach was introduced as the speaker, I must admit, I immediately started wiggling. It was not a physical wiggling, but my mind was doing mental aerobics for sure. I had several random thoughts:

*I am not a sports minded woman
*I don't know who is playing in the Superbowl
*I am not particularly concerned that I don't know
*I was always the last to be picked for teams when we played games in school
*My tennis coach in college told me when the Special Olympics were going to be held

By the hearty welcome, it seemed most of the people in the audience knew the coach and his excellent reputation with his team. I had not heard of either the respected coach or his team. As he walked to the podium, the Lord did a little work in my heart by letting me know He could speak through this coach as well as my pastor. So, I asked the Lord to engage me in His spoken and written Word and to draw the circle of conviction and application around me. And He did. With a coach.

I must rewind and recap (I think a little bit of the sports terminology I heard rubbed off). The last two years the Lord has given me a theme to specifically pray for the year. This year:

*The ball dropped on Times Square, no theme or direction.
*A historic new president took office, no theme or direction.
*Many new opportunities were being presented in my life, no theme or direction.
*A spiritual marker anniversary passed January 21st, no theme or direction.

I was feeling like I was in Habakkuk 3:17. January 2009 started and ended without me being able to put a bow around a neatly packaged purpose or direction for the new year. I felt like I was in the final quarter of the game (yes, I heard the coach say that too!) So I found myself still seeking, still searching, still asking. Sitting on the bench (pew) with the playbook (Bible) February 1st, while listening to a coach speak, the Lord gave me Scripture to pray for the new year. It was as if verses five through eight of the following passage were just jumping off the page to me:

"I thank my God always concerning you for the grace of God which was given you in Christ Jesus, that in everything you were enriched in Him, in all speech and all knowledge, even as the testimony concerning Christ was confirmed in you, so that you are not lacking in any gift, awaiting eagerly the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will also confirm you to the end, blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ." I Corinthians 1:4-8

I can't get the Scripture out of my mind. It encapsulates everything my heart is to cry out for in the new year. Then last week in our small group time (Sunday School as I knew it growing up) the Lord confirmed that this was indeed to be my prayer for the new year with a comment from a retired pastor in our group. Our small group is categorized (according to the roster) as a 30-40's couples class. But we have morphed into a group of believers from college age to 70's that are just loving Jesus and encouraging one another. Twice this older man has spoken specific encouragement to my heart without even speaking directly to me. The words that he spoke Sunday were in response to a comment made by our teacher. I see the Experiencing God teaching at work in my life through the truths learned in the study:

*God speaks by the Holy Spirit
*God speaks through the Bible
*God speaks through prayer
*God speaks through circumstances
*God speaks through the God's people, the church

My darlin' youngest teen just read my post title and reminded me that the new year started last month! And yes, according to the world's calendar it did. But thankfully, I'm on the Creator, Redeemer, and Soon Coming Lord's calendar, and His ways and starting days, don't always line up with man's calendar days!

Lord, let thanksgiving rise up in me always
Let it be on my lips each and every day
For Your amazing grace was so freely bestowed
Covering me completely from head to toe
I ask in everything LORD to be enriched in You
In speech, in knowledge, guide me in what to do
The testimony of Christ is confirmed in me
Let my life be lived so that You, others may see
Lord, pour out all gifts
Generous LORD, without thrift
Leave me not lacking
Send the enemy packing
With eager anticipation
May I await Your revelation
Confirm me Lord, to the end
Keep me before You, without sin
Amen.

7 comments

"Just Me - NC Beth" said...

Good post! I sometime feel that I too am waiting for that "purpose" to be handed to me....

I am seeing God working right now though in an entirely different direction that I would have never chosen for myself! It is an eye opener for me..that when we think God is wanting us to do a certain work for Him, He shows us He was not in that plan because He had something else for us to do!

~Beth

fuzzytop said...

Lora,
I love this post, and especially, the prayer at the end. Did you write that? It's so beautiful and MEANINGFUL!!!! Do you mind if I borrow it...?

I can relate to the longing for, and feeling like you're not receiving a clear purpose. But as you said, we must await His revelation, with eager anticipation.

Much love,
Adrienne

B His Girl said...

I hear deep things being stirred in you Lora. How beautiful! I love your poem. Send the enemy packing...I believe I am to start praying that. God is doing a greater work in you. I feel that very strongly! New things are coming.....B
Your blog is sending me a sign. The word verification says 'storyb'. Last night I was reading about story telling. I am a story teller. I tell HIS stories. My heart is leaping! I have a speech today in Toastmasters. Please say a prayer I talk about MORE than they are expecting. thanks b

Lora said...

Beth, I too am amazed at areas God is working in that I would not have chosen! His ways are better than our ways.

Adrienne, I would be flat out blessed if you used the prayer poem the Lord gave me - I only wrote down what I heard Him speak to my heart. I use to be concerned that it rhymed (sometimes); but, I know that He is speaking to my heart. Borrow it with blessings!

Barbara, your words are sweet, sweet encouragement to my heart. And the song Greater Things Are Yet To Come is playing over in my mind this morning. I pray:

Dear Lord, as Barbara speaks about "More"
Open wide Your heavenly stores
Allow the talk to fit like a puzzle piece to their hearts
More of Your wisdom and grace to the hearers impart
Do a great and mighty work through B
Allow others to Our Dear Savior to see
Amen.

LisaShaw said...

Precious Lora,

I feel as if I'm hearing myself speaking here as our hearts are one -- always.

I too am so glad that we are on God's schedule, His timing and within His will. The world goes one way but we are foreigners here. We follow the LORD's way for our steps are ordered in Him.

The cry of my heart is Lord, your will be done. May I grow ever more in the knowledge and grace of Your love and wisdom and may I share it with all You place in my path.

Thank you for opening your heart for the Lord to all of us Lora. Every time I visit I leave FULL. To our God be all the glory.

Love you.

Lora said...

Lisa Shaw,

I praise His Name for your kindred spirit. With a heart of love and thanksgiving to the Lord our God for you! I'm excited and I can just tell, we are drinking from the same Well.

B His Girl said...

Your prayer made my spirit soar. Thank you soooooooooooo much. My talk went really well. The Lord gave me good stuff to share. B is ready to fly MORE! I am still thinking about the storyb. I wish I had taken a photo of it. In my journal it will go! I really enjoy blogging with you. I feel a spirit connection. It is wonderful we all share the knowledge and love of Jesus. Thanks again Lora. B