March 20, 2010
As a Wheaton College alumnus, I have a great love of the school. And so, I listen to the tri-weekly chapel messages via podcast. A little dorky of me, I know, but they’re so GOOD, and make me feel connected to my alma mater.
A few messages ago, Chaplain Kellough was speaking about prayer, and how he was reading a children’s guide to prayer where the authors (I don’t remember the book or authors he cited) said, “Don’t fret, just pray. The Holy Spirit will fix your prayers on the way up to make them be what they should be.”
This simple idea really appeals to me. I like to think. It’s important to seek true understanding. I think it’s vital to be well-educated in Christian doctrine. I want to be well-informed and mindful of my faith and of reality. But it comforts me to think of this gift God gives us – His Holy Spirit – who intercedes for us when we don’t know what to pray or how to pray.
Because as much as we understand and seek to understand, we’re so woefully limited in our knowledge. Our perception. Our perspective of reality.
I’ve begun extending this concept into my thinking about other activities as well as prayer. I counseled winter camp for our church’s 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders two weekends ago. It was so fun, so silly, so much energy expended in games and songs and craziness. And in the midst, so much trying to connect with the kids’ hearts and pour a bit of God’s love and truth into them. So much trying to challenge them to follow Jesus. So much of our activity. And I think a lot of it was great. I think some of it probably went far off the mark of really doing “kingdom work.” But you know what? The Holy Spirit fixed our efforts on the way up. He is the same Spirit that Jesus himself was filled with when He walked the earth and dealt tenderly with our limitations and weakness.
This past Wednesday night at church I had one of those strange moments of objectivity, when you take a step back and observe what you see and it registers as a little odd. The director of our 1st and 2nd grade girls club was standing up front, holding out a box that looked as though it could have held a giant bakery cake, but in fact held a replica of the crown of thorns Jesus wore when He was crucified. The girls all gasped and “ooohhed.” And I can still see her, in my objective mind’s eye, smiling proudly and holding out this box. And it is helpful to see how Jesus suffered to complete the Rescue Mission to bring God’s children back to Him. And it is shocking. And it seems just a bit weird to be showing 6 and 7 year old children this torture instrument while smiling broadly in the front of a classroom. Great hearts, great intentions, and a great Fixer who intercedes to bring about goodness and God’s will in our efforts to minister in His Name.