Last night after the Newcomers meeting at church, one of our new(ish) families to CIL walked up to me. The father simply said “How have you been this week? I’ve been praying for you.” Immediately, I knew he wasn’t giving me the standard “How are you?” greeting that we so often use to simply convey feelings of goodwill towards one another.
Last week, I spoke at church while Aaron was out of town and encouraged… or challenged, rather… the congregation to go deeper with God. One of my challenges was to seek out fresh manna every day (instead of running on the fumes of past mountain-top experiences). I mentioned that I felt God inviting me to give Him the first part of every day – getting up early (i.e. before the kids – yikes!) – to spend time in His presence. The manna mentioned in the Bible would come to the Israelites overnight and they had to gather it in the morning before the sun came up and burned it away. I confessed to the church that I’m so not a morning person, but I believed that if my relationship with God was going to go deeper, I needed to seek Him out in the morning.
At first, it went great! It was literally as though God woke me up before the kids each morning… to bask in His presence, read His word, listen for His voice.
But as with most things, I quickly started slacking. How can that be, after I so vehemently challenged the church body to press in? The past few days, I had already started making the choice to stay in bed until Lincoln (who gets up with the chickens, btw!) dragged me out for breakfast.
But I would get back on track, I told myself… TOMORROW!… or eventually.
Then, last night – no doubt at the prompting of the Holy Spirit – this man who barely knows me asked a very innocent but (perhaps unwittingly) loaded question. How are you this week? No, the more I think of it, it wasn’t unwitting. He looked me in the eye and he may as well have said “Frequently, after giving a challenging message, the enemy will do everything in his power to pull you off-track. Are you fighting this by staying close to the Lord?”
And that he did. (the enemy, that is) Library books I’d been waiting on for weeks suddenly became available… my kids slept LATE… we stayed up LATE laughing and having a good time…
But I digress. That isn’t really the purpose of THIS particular blog post.
My point is… how often do we give people the courteous “How are you?” question – and maybe even mean well… maybe even mean it – but fail to ask them the more important questions: How is your walk with the Lord? Are you spending time with Him? What have you learned lately?
It almost seems intrusive, right? Rude, even. But truly, I was so thankful for that pointed question. I think I crave it. Not for someone to come and tell me how I should be doing things or what I’m doing wrong. Just to ask. And with a simple question, my rudder is adjusted.
So, let’s find one person this week that we can ask, in all seriousness: