The city is Right Here, USA. This womanís name has been changed to protect her identity. Henceforth we will refer to her as Jane. Today is Sunday morning, the first full day since Janeís return from a weekend with her girlfriends at The Mountain Top Experience 2009 retreat. Jane spent two days in prayer, communion, worship, fellowship and study, with only limited interruptions to be fed mouth-watering, catered meals. She was met at the door on Saturday evening by her handsome, yet harried husband and a sink full of dishes.
Because her heart was swollen with love and her head was filled with all she had learned, Jane hugged her man, kissed the sleeping children and proceeded to whistle Chris Tomlin melodies while scrubbing plates and silverware. She went to bed exhausted, yet exuberant. Her God was bigger than the minutiae of her mundane life.
This morning, the alarm clock chimes one hour later than expected, but through her grogginess and fear of missing worship, Jane still eagerly cracks open the spine of her brand-new Mountain Top prayer journal to write the following:
Thank you, Father, for your faithfulness to me. You are the God of the universe and the closest Person to my heart. I love You for all You do and all You are and pray that the fire Youíve stirred in my heart will never grow cold. Praise You, Jesus!
With a spirit of servanthood, she happily dresses her children (the littlest one twice, still smiling all the while), gathers her husband and family and journeys to church. Jane worships hungrily, feeling overwhelmed by love and devotion to her Redeemer. She lifts her hands, sings with abandon and cries during the sermon.
At home she dances through fixing Sunday brunch and prays for guidance before moving into referee position for her childrenís fight. She ends the evening in prayer with her husband and reads five chapters of the Bible.
Days Two through Eight:
Jane continues to be in prayer and devotion every morning. Her prayer journal now has a coffee stain on the cover and a dozen pages filled with the cries of her heart.
The prayers continue in the morning, but are hurried. The journal is now buried under a stack of fiction and the busy-ness of life has kept her from praying with her husband but once in the last week. Jesus fits into her life only between 6:15 and 6:30am and possibly before bed at 10:00 to 10:05 every evening. Jane knows God loves her and believes He cares about the big and small moments of her life, but the fire that she knew two weeks ago has cooled considerably. She is aware that it has happened, but assumes that this is normal when one has come down from the Mountain Top. She is convinced she can wait it out and the fireís flame will burn brightly again.
Within a span of two hours, Jane has lost her temper, yelled at the children, slammed a door and snapped at her husband. Not once has she prayed for guidance.
Jane listens to a preacher on the radio who reminds her of Paulís teaching on a willing spirit vs. weak flesh and is convicted anew to spend time with Christ. Leaving the laundry unfolded in the basket, she pulls out her Bible and her prayer journal and for twenty minutes feverishly writes non-stop, praying for herself, her children, her country and the world.
Jane is beginning to find balance between the heat of passionate faith (which she desires) and the chill of apathy (which she fears). God hears her sincere prayer squeezed between soccer practice and the PTA meeting just as well as any other prayer she has prayed, because her God is faithful to ALL who call on His nameóthe prodigal son, the wayward child, and even the busy mother.
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