“It’s interesting to me,” Stan said, “how God uses memories to communicate to me things He wants me to see and to keep before me.”
“What do you have in mind?” I asked.
“When I first became a Christian and was in a Bible study class,” Stan responded, “the class leader said something that was clearly well-intended, but turned out to be off-base and limiting.”
“Sounds serious,” I responded.
“Yes and no,” Stan replied. “I don’t want to make too big a deal about it, but there is a lesson in what the leader did and did not do.”
“What is it he told you?” I asked.
“He was talking about his personal prayer life and what he did every day, indicating that it was the way I should approach God.”
“What was wrong with that?”
“It did not seem wrong at the time. And, again, I know he meant well, but what he said, in essence, was that I was to get on my knees every morning for fifteen minutes and pray. And that I was to have a set list of things I was to pray about.”
“Sounds like a plan to me,” I responded.
“Yes, it was a plan,” Stan replied, “but it was a very limiting plan that left little room for a real growing relationship with God.”
“How so?” I asked.
“I would get on my knees each morning with my list. I would watch the clock to make sure I was there for fifteen minutes, and then I would get up, put God back on the shelf until the next day, and proceed with my day.”
“I see what you mean,” I responded.
“Yeah,” Stan said, “as I matured in my relationship with God, it became real clear that He does not want to be put on the shelf and only taken down and communicated with on my schedule.”
“No,” he continued, “God wants a relationship with me that involves ongoing communication throughout every day I have remaining on this side of eternity.”
“As I have said many times,” Stan concluded, “eternal life on this side of eternity is all about knowing God the Father and His Son Jesus. No time limit and no set rules. If I am limiting God, I do so at the risk of not knowing Him as He intends.”
And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ Whom You have sent. John 17:3.
Prayer: Thank you, Lord, that you want to have a personal and ever-deepening relationship with me. Thank you that you lead me in that relationship. Please help me to follow. And, Lord, please forgive all of the times I have not pursued knowing you as you intend. I ask you to open me as fully as you can so that I continually want to draw closer to you and know you as deeply as possible on this side of eternity. Thank you that I can and do bring all of these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.