I woke this morning at my usual time, 5am. It seems my body didn’t get the memo that Sacramento County has restricted all but necessary travel. A bit more sleep in exchange for a physical commute just didn’t happen.
What to do with the extra time? (1) Stay in bed and hope I’ll fall back to sleep? (2) Watch more television and risk increased anxiety? (3) Get up and use the additional time in prayer.
While this is not an exhaustive list of options (a weekend breakfast on a Wednesday sounded really good), I chose option 3.
Duh! Pastor Meeks, you’re a pastor! What else would you do?
Let’s make a deal: I won’t look into your closet of thoughts, desires and mistakes, and you don’t look into mine. I’ll put it another way, don’t judge me...sort of.
Just as everyday doesn’t feel like the sun is shining, prayer isn’t always something I want to do. As I’ve shared with my awesome community of faith, I’m not jumping up and down with glee every Sunday morning.
It’s a funny thing, though. Even when it’s cloudy and raining, literally or figuratively (both of which are the present situation in the Sacramento region), the sun is still shining. Or put another way, just because I can’t see or feel the warmth and glow of the sun doesn’t mean it isn’t there. The sun, and everything it is and gives, never goes away.
I had the privilege of spending extended time with one of our awesome young adults as we worked through using an online communication platform. (Shout out to Nat Freeman.) As I shared, it’s strangely wonderful how the inconvenient and disconcerting issues of COVID-19 can bring unexpected (unintended?) benefits.
I’m reminded of the n the 4th chapter of Letter of James we read his chastisement how often are prayers are a swing and a miss because our intentions are wrong. And, just as any good parent would act with their child asking for candy when a balanced meal is what’s needed, God’ answer is a resounding no.
Thankfully, the Apostle gives a hope-filled path to the right yes. In the 7th verse he reminds us to submit (completely yield) to God. While often hard (sin has wired us otherwise), the benefits follow: Come near to God and he will come near to you…Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.
Unless we’re fortunate enough to be home-schooling antsy little-ones, we’ve got some extra time. I encourage everyone to use it to submit and draw near to God.
The Son is still shining.
A p-k (preacher’s kid), Mark is the eighth of nine children born to Reuben and Henrietta Meeks, prolific planters of nearly 30 churches throughout the Central Valley of California. After four decades of teaching, discipling, and ministering, including to the hospitalized and imprisoned, Mark responded to God’s call to pastoral ministry. In addition to degrees in civil engineering and public administration, Mark received his Masters in Theology from Fuller Seminary.