A New Prayer
This is my first post since moving to a new city over a month ago. Overall the move has been incredible, getting me plugged into a godly church, making all kinds of new friends, and getting more into the rhythm of my new(ish) job. This post is about a small piece of that move. Specifically, a Wednesday morning Bible group I attend.
Rise and Shine
One of the first things I did with my new church was try to find community. That meant looking into the Bible groups offered and finding the ones that would fit my schedule. I settled on a Tuesday evening group that specifically targets folks in their twenties. At one of the first weekly meetings someone stood up and mentioned a men's group that meets at 6:30 AM on Wednesdays. 6:30! You mean AM as in the morning? Ouch!
The group was described as being mostly older men. I can't remember the last time I had older, more experienced Christian men speaking into my life like that. Maybe college... or maybe not ever? Anyways, I decided it was worth a shot. I'm so glad that I did.
The group is definitely older. Some of them are my parents age, and some are older than my grandparents. They all have one thing in common though: they love the Lord their God. You can just tell in the way they talk, the responsibilities they take on, and the way they live that they are living out their lives intentionally.
They have so many stories. One of them takes flowers to widows and the sick. The same guy greeted me at group the first week and said he had been praying for a year that the Lord would bring young men to the Wednesday group. I don't think I have consistently prayed for anything that long! He also prepares content each week to discuss, sharing the Word of God. This is what faithfulness looks like.
Then there are others that love on the homeless almost daily. Their job is to ride around and connect the downtrodden outcasts of society with housing, work, and basic medical care. I decided to ride along a couple of times thinking I might learn something. Talk about grueling, heartbreaking work! They truly love some of the most unlovable people I've ever seen, who often reek and seem to repeatedly backslide deeper into their own personal hell, struggling to survive. I think what I find most impressive is that when driving around looking for people who need help, they can just pop off dozens of names and recognize so many people on sight. I can't even remember some of the people I see weekly at Bible group. This is what love looks like.
Another man is a seasoned engineer, spending decades in technology. I admire the drive to stay relevant in an ever-evolving industry, while simultaneously giving advice to other companies and consistently finding the time to attend on Wednesday mornings. This is, of course, in addition to having his own family at home to tend to! There is a lot I can learn from him: how to be a loving husband and father, how to be a peacemaker within my home, and how to keep my priorities straight. This is what right priorities look like.
What does a godly man look like? Are you starting to get the picture?
There is also the man whose son nearly died from a bizarre infection he came down with in college. The family spent months in the hospital while their son hung on by threads, unlikely to survive. Miraculously his son's diagnosis shifted one day, almost overnight, and even now continues to heal. It sounds like a really difficult way to live. It isn't hard for me to imagine my heart hardening in response, ending up jaded or cynical. Instead, what I see is a man sharing the miracle of healing God brought into his family. It is easy to read Romans and see that God works all things together for His purpose for those that love Him, but to believe it when faced with astronomical medical bills and your son dying in the hospital? This is what trusting God looks like.
A New Prayer
I'm so grateful for the community I am finding in my new church, and in the men within this Wednesday morning group. Dwelling on their character, I realized that they embody traits for my own life that I can pray about:
Help me to be faithful in prayer, that I would never stop as long as I draw breath. Encourage me to trust in your promises, even when my life is in chaos. Remind me constantly what real love looks like, and help me give it... especially when it is hard. Build me continually into the kind of man who glorifies your name, with right priorities. Make me a peacemaker in my family and in my life.
The craziest thing is that I haven't gotten to know all of them well yet. It is something I will continue to work on. For now, whenever possible, I will struggle out of bed at 6 AM on Wednesday mornings with an open heart and an open mind.