If I had a catchphrase with the church kids I’ve worked with over the years, it would be this:
“What do we do before we do ANYTHING else?”
And 10 to 15 to 30 little voices yell “PRAY!!”
So if it’s gotten into their little heads, why hasn’t it sunk into my grown-up head? Why is it the last thing I think of? Why do I have to schedule prayer into my day just to remind myself to do it?
If I were God, I’d get annoyed with myself, then offended, and then I’d just stop talking to myself. I’d give up on the whole relationship. I mean, if it’s that much trouble, I must not be very invested in it.
But instead, I see little reminders of Him all around at the craziest times.
Walking at toddler-speed through the neighbourhood, inspecting the types of dead grass along the sidewalk with two little charges, I glance up to see a beautiful rainbow stretching over our house. It was barely there, and a was backdropped by a cloudy, grey sky — I don’t know where the sunlight was coming from to create it.
And just now, as 4 sleepyheads sleep in at least an hour later than usual (oops, is that a creaking step I hear?).
And when I do remember to pray, and spend the entire conversation asking that God would remind one child to keep her pants dry at school today, and to help another child to remember not to let certain kids get to him, and to help another child deal with the tougher course load in class, and to help the Sunday School kids learn their lines for play practice — He answers those silly, little prayers like they actually matter to Him. Because they do.
Even on the days I’m not invested, He always is, more so than we’ll ever understand.
So today, a Saturday, when I need to get one kid in the bath, assemble all of the props and supplies for Christmas play practice, get 4 kids and one husband fed and dressed (and remember to take a shower myself), and hustle them past the freshly fallen snow into the van within the next hour —
God says: “What do we need to do before we do ANYTHING else?”
And so I bow my head and pray.