God as road vs. God as destination
I was ironing my pants this morning (no they were not on my body) thinking about the three times I need to teach on Sunday (twice with the church and once at the Monroe County Jail) and I had a strange thought. I asked myself how much more effective I would be as a teacher if I prayed, much more than I do, about my messages and the people I will be teaching. Now, apart from the fact that this is a "duh" question it was quickly followed by a rebuke that I was thinking more about my effectiveness as a teacher rather than my love for God and neighbor. Basically, I was thinking about using prayer as a means to better myself as a teacher rather than one part of my communion with God.
Then, almost as quickly, another thought came to mind. How many times to I use God as a means rather than the end? It is easy for me to see God as a way to respect, a good life, obedient children, and a hundred lesser things rather than the only person I would want with me if I was stranded on a desert island. He is not a tool for me to fashion my life in the way that I see fit. He is life. Plain and simple. I have to admit it is hard for me to pursue Him as a destination rather than use Him as a road to somewhere else. That is not something that comes easily to me as I am not as relationally-oriented as I should be. I don't readily reach out to people as I work in the garden or figure out how to arrange words in ScribeFire so that I am as clear as I need to be to get my point across.
And that is something I need to submit to the Holy Spirit who is all to glad to point me to the Father and His Son. Dad, help me to take delight in You and not in Your gifts or even the black smoothness of this way and the hum of my tires on the road You have put me on. I don't want to use You...I want to know You.