What events have marked your life? Experiences that have forever shaped who you are? It may have been a series of hard days that you lived through, a trip you took, or a moment you shared with someone important. Or maybe it was just a simple blip on the radar, a book you read, or a great conversation. When I consider who I am today – the good and the bad, my passions and personality, habits and viewpoints – I recall a handful of moments that have informed who I am and my perspective on life.
I remember being a little girl sitting down for the first few times with watercolor paints, blank paper, and my imagination. It was usually on a Sunday afternoon after I’d complained one too many times that I was bored. Mom would set me up on the floor in our foyer beside our glass door, looking out into the front yard. I’d paint flowers for what felt like hours. It was there that I began to fall in love with creating and discovered a practice that I’ve carried with me ever since.
I remember as a teenager the summer my parents packing my two siblings and I into a mini-van with a pop-up camper in tow, headed out onto the open road for a couple of weeks. My Dad said we were driving to Idaho, making whatever stops we wanted along the way. Mom sat in the front seat with a fold-out map and thick guide that listed campsite possibilities. We camped in a different place most nights, and a few times we drove late into the night because we weren’t sure how to find the site we were looking for – we’re talking pre-cell phone, pre-GPS days here! We saw the Grand Canyon, Yosemite, Mount Rushmore, and many other beautiful places on that trip. It was then that I fell in love with traveling, taking adventures, and the beauty of this world. I vowed to see and experience as much as I could and find adventure often….both practices that I still carry with me today.
When it comes to my relationship with the Lord, few things have shaped me like a sermon I heard 7 or 8 years ago about the Lord’s Prayer. God’s Spirit used that pastor to forever alter my viewpoint of God, how I interact with Him, and what my prayer-life looks like. I’d likely recited the Lord’s Prayer hundreds of times by that point and had had it committed to memory so long that I can’t remember when or how I did it. And until that sermon, the Lord’s Prayer was just that…something I recited but never considered. Never had I wondered why Jesus said it, what implications it could have in my life, and definitely not whether I prayed with sincerity. The moment that sermon was finished, I knew I had to change some things. I knew it was time to really talk to God, time to be sincere about what was in my heart, and time to beg the Lord to make my heart more like His and really mean it.
The most difficult part of the Lord’s Prayer for me back then –and still today – is the section that says “Your Kingdom come, Your will be done.” The difficulty lies in the fact that it’s GOD’s kingdom, not mine, that I’m supposed to be praying towards. And I don’t know about you, but I really, really like being in charge of my own kingdom.
As Portico Church wraps up our Kingdom of God series this coming Sunday, I’m not sure of a more fitting passage to talk about than this section of the Lord’s Prayer. My prayer heading into our time together on Sunday is that God would use this very often recited, but rarely authentically prayed passage to leave a mark on you as it has on me.
See you Sunday! Libby