This, That, or the Other?

Originally posted on Miss P’s Ponderings on April 20, 2012

I must confess.  This morning, when I was heading to school, I pondered what to write today.  I asked God to inspire me with a topic or illustration to use for today’s writing analogy.  And…the pondering…the prayer…were answered with silence.  So, I thought, perhaps….I’m supposed to take “Fridays off” since school is always so packed with weekly assessments, planning for next week, wrapping up this week, and whatever fills my post-school hours.

I thought…”Well, since you started a blog for your language class and told your parents about your school related blogs…that’s plenty for today.”

Yes, teachers are some of the world’s best rationalizers. (Is that a word? I know it’s not, but I’m using it anyway.)

One thing that I realized after leaving school at 5:22 to meet a friend for dinner at 5:30 (when the drive takes 15 minutes) is how often I have plans made for school and then…something else comes up…and then another thing comes up.  So, I have to choose.  Do I have a class meeting?  Give the pretest in math to the two students who may need alternate math instruction/activities next week?  Take my students to watch some fourth grade students do monologues from the perspective of historical figures?  Well, I chose the latter…knowing that “this” and “that” would be rescheduled so we could attend “the other”.

It’s nice when we can make those choices and still do “this” and “that” at another time.  But…what about those times when by doing “this” we miss out on “that”?  It seems to happen frequently in my life, and I’m guessing it does in yours as well.

This really hit home at 6:45 p.m. while I sat at the Spiritual Disciplines Conference taking place at my church this weekend.  You see, my plan was to go to the conference sessions this evening, a science workshop tomorrow, and finish prepping for next week on Sunday.  That’ll work, right?  Sure.

However, as I sat listening to Dr. Whitney speak about prayer, I was overwhelmed with the conviction that my schedule was wrong for the weekend.  I couldn’t truly focus on his teaching concerning prayer until I agreed with the conviction that I needed to be in attendance at all the sessions of the conference. I altered my plans, decided to send out my cancellation for tomorrow during the break, and peace took over.

For the next couple of hours, I was challenged and inspired in my personal prayer life.  During our second session, Dr. Whitney gave us time to put his teaching into practice (praying through a Psalm).  What would be impressed upon my heart to pray about as I read through Psalm 8?  “how majestic is your name in all the earth!”.  I prayed that He would use my simple attempt to blog to magnify His name through the world…or in this case…the world-wide-web. 

Oh?  So that’s why I had silence this morning…because He had something planned for me to write this evening.  When my prayer during session 2 concluded, I knew I had just received the answer to my morning prayer…I just had to wait twelve or so hours.

Now, for those of you who know me…the fact that I’m alert enough at 10:00 p.m. to write this should tell you how much this evening’s teaching challenged me.  Granted, I’ll be heading to bed soon after I hit “publish”, but I knew I needed to be obedient to write what was impressed upon my heart this evening. 

You see, I have no doubt that I would have a great time attending the science workshop at Hanover College tomorrow.  I am certain I would receive ideas for effective & engaging science activities, laugh with Dr. Rubino, enjoy lunch with Mendi, and appreciate the stipend when it arrived later.  But “that” had to be replaced for me to do “this”, and I have no doubt that God has something grand in store to teach me tomorrow. 

In closing, I thought I’d share a prayer…inspired by the teaching of this evening’s message.

The Spirit helps us in our weakness.
Father, thank You so much for being my strength when I am weak.  When I kept yawning this evening, You helped me to focus.  You taught me so much this evening in spite of my weakness. 
For we do not know what to pray for as we ought,
I praise You for the teaching of Dr. Whitney.  I look forward to using Your Word as I pray that it would be genuine and glorifying to you.
but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. 
How awesome it is to know that Your Spirit intercedes for me when I can’t put my prayers into words. 
And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. 
The conviction of Your Spirit this evening was appreciated, as I know You have great things in store for me tomorrow morning.  Please guide all of my steps according to Your will.
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
When things go according to my plans or when things go terribly wrong, it is comforting to know that You work all of those things together for my good and for Your purpose.
Help me to glorify You in all I say, do, and write.
Romans 8:26-28

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