The Real You
I’m blessed to have some of the greatest coffee known to planet Earth here in Portland. I don’t know about you but there’s something that happens to me when I drink good coffee, besides having the caffeine kick. It’s like the busy fast paced world we live in slows down for just a few moments as my taste buds are rejuvenated with each hot sip of the strong robust flavors. Throw in a donut or muffin and I begin to imagine what heaven is like. It’s awesome. I think it’s important in life to have these kind of moments – moments we can stop and ‘smell the coffee’ so to speak, or whatever your daily break may be. Life goes so fast that if we’re not careful we get caught in the rat race. We get caught in the trap of life being all about work or our problems. I think all of the technology that we have today, cell phones, laptops, and our social media is phenomenal but I also think that it has accelerated our lives to astronomical proportions. Today we have so much information and business coming at us and around us that life’s issues can escalate from zero to crazy stupid in less than 10 minutes! Can you relate? Some days it seems like a great day can quickly turn into a crappy one with just a phone call, a text or a Facebook post.
I have been thinking about the Lord’s Prayer a lot lately. In Matthew 6 Jesus was helping His disciples in their relationship with the Heavenly Father, specifically when it came to communicating (praying) to the Father. I really like how Jesus used contrasts when it came to how Pharisees or the religious crowd prayed and how we aren’t supposed to be like them. For instance, we aren’t supposed to beg. We aren’t supposed to use mantras. We aren’t supposed to use words that don’t mean anything or pretend the Father hears us because we’ve said everything right. Neither are we supposed to make a big show of prayer in public. What makes it tough for the educated, well versed and zealots is that Jesus makes prayer seem…so...simple. It’s as though our Heavenly Father wants to talk with the ‘real’ us. No fanfare. No hypocrisy. No image. He wants to hear our fears, our heart cry and our faith. He wants us to be real. What’s mind blowing is that if you look at the Lord’s Prayer, literally Jesus communicated it in under 5 minutes. The same time it takes me to make brownies!
Matthew 6:8-13 (New King James Version)
"Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him. 9 In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. 10 Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. 11 Give us this day our daily bread. 12 And forgive us our debts, As we forgive our debtors. 13 And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one."
Simple and it covers it all. Jesus wasn’t creating a 5 minutes rule but rather helping us understand relationship. He said, “In this manner, therefore, pray”. This is our example. It reminds us to be real. To be simple. To be us. To reach out to our Father for all our needs. To flat-out forgive…daily. To ask for His forgiveness for our debts…daily. It’s what keeps us Christians normal and reminds us that we screw up like everyone else. When it gets to the part about temptation it’s interesting that the word is also translated, ‘to pierce through’, to stop or quit. Jesus wants us to ask the Father that He would deliver us from life piercing through our hearts causing us to give up. A cry that He would step in when we feel that pressure; because we have an enemy working against us wanting us to throw in the towel.
Prayer is the solution to the rat race of life. It can be as easy as taking 5 minutes of your day while you’re sipping a hot latte. Prayer helps bring the ‘bubble’ back to center, sharpens our focus and reminds us that we are real. God is interested in the real us.
Matthew 11:30 (The Message Translation)
"Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly."
Have a great week!