Remembering the Past
I first heard the term “spiritual markers” when my wife and I went through Experiencing God. Henry Blackaby’s bestselling Bible study has sold more than six million copies, been translated into 35-plus languages, and spawned many other books and studies.
Blackaby calls these markers a time of “transition, decision or direction” when he knows that God has guided him. Over time, as he looks back he can more clearly see how God guided him; these markers can also help guide future decisions.
I thought of markers recently when I completed the first homework assignment of a professional editors group’s continuing education course.
The assignment involved writing a prayer that expressed my plans and goals for the course. Pressed for time, I rattled off the following:
You know I started this endeavor many years ago and was so lost I wasn’t even sure I could make a living as a writer. So thank You for making that possible. Thank you for:
- All the times I worried about how we would simply pay the rent, and the time that our church paid it;
- The time we needed groceries and friends showed up with bags on their arms;
- The time we went to mid-week service without supper because the refrigerator was bare, and afterwards a friend asked if we wanted to come by his house for sandwiches.
Without the opportunity for You to prove your faithfulness, we never would have seen miracles happen.
Thank You after so long we still aren’t living on Easy Street, because we might grow complacent and lazy. Thank You for all You have taught me just this year, particularly the lessons about learning to control my emotions and developing a deeper trust in You. The day You invaded my office and opened up the deeper meaning of the Prodigal Son in a way I had never grasped will remain in my spirit forever.
And yet, Lord, after all this time, I still feel I must be the slowest learner on earth. After all the humbling I’ve experienced, I still need lessons in humility. After all the times You’ve provided, I still slip into worrying about accounts payable or how I will manage to juggle all the deadlines on my plate.
I still feel inadequate to piece together the stories of Your work in this world while feeling technology and everything else is passing me by at a pace faster than lighting.
I ask that You would help me to be more efficient in my stewardship of time while never rushing when someone wants to talk about what You have done in their lives.
Help me to be a better marketer, a skill that I still struggle to master.
Help me to take time to mentor others, even as I feel there aren’t simply enough hours in the day to get all my paying work finished.
Help me to keep seeing how badly I need You in my life, just like I did the day I accepted Your Son as my Savior.
In Jesus’ name,
Sometimes life hurtles by so quickly that we can forget what has happened and where we have come from. That is why writing this prayer helped me to pause, reflect and record some of the amazing things God has done in my life. The same could be true of you.