From Prayer to the “Real World”

There’s a weird occasion that I experience every time I have a good time of prayer, reflection, worship, or plain old communion with God. It’s the transition out. We as Christians go from a time of being aware of God back to our normal lives. We may occasionally say, “That was a really good session” or we might even have a discussion about what we learned, but sooner or later something comes in and disrupts the connection. It’s weird, yet necessary.

I’ve been spending some time in Rose of Sharon this week, which has been really fruitful. Today I decided to switch it up for Missions Conference. Tonight’s session was ‘really good’People were impacted and made aware of God’s presence. After the session, I went to some of the special prayer places around campus. I started in the AS conference room with some time of journaling and unloading. It was good to write out what was on my mind.

A whiteboard in the prayer labyrinth. The red line connects to a real cross in the room, representing Christ’s blood. This picture blew me away with the artistic ability that went into it, both the picture itself and God’s story. Yet the picture will only last a few days, the plan is eternal

I then moved on to the Prayer Labyrinth in Rolo. This was my first time ever going down there, since usually I’m busy during Missions Conference. Though there were people going through the path, it was quiet. The Labyrinth leads you through reflection, praise, confession, intercession, and so much more. The work on the walls are amazing. There was so much to go through that I didn’t finish it all. I’m excited to go back, but I felt I needed to take a break.

As I walked back to Emerson I realized I would soon be reentering the “real world”, however “real” it is. As I walked on my floor I came across people surfing Facebook, watching movies with girls, and reading scripts for classes. None of these things are evil or bad, in fact they are good and healthy things to do. Yet I still feel intruded upon. I was having a special quiet time with God. Why does the world have to come in and take me out of this calm, reflective time? I want to bring it with me and continue it forever, but that’s not realistic or practical.

This applies to more than me and my prayer time. This applies to every church meeting, every sermon, every time of prayer and worship, every encounter with God. It’s so easy to have it and cherish it forever, but keep that sacred space separate from our everyday world. In reality, it is separate. It would be odd to be in a time of reflection or be in the same mode of worship when we are laughing, watching movies, making jokes, and doing homework. This separation is not bad, but seemingly necessarily. But how do we bring our experiences into our lives? That’s something I just don’t know.

I wish I could offer a solution, and doubtless I could make one up. “We should always be focused on Christ. All of our actions are worship. Pray without ceasing.” While all these things are true, there is still an awkward separation between our spiritual experiences and our everyday lives. It is important to recognize this division, even if we can’t bridge it. We cannot cure cancer, but we can diagnose it. We have treatments that help, but no true cure.  Knowing that there is a division is the first step in finding a solution.

Yet perhaps one solution is that there is no solution, or one in the form that we want. Life is full different kinds of moments, reflective and fast paced. God designed laughter and we should experience Him in it. We should be focused on Him always. Our lives are or should be acts of worship. We should be praying without ceasing. While we may not always be as aware of God at all times, we should always have some awareness. Perhaps there will always be an awkward time of transition while we are here on earth… perhaps.

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