I already have my Christmas tree up and decorated, anticipating the season. As I ponder the activities and make lists of what I must do, my thoughts return to another time and other lists.
While attending a writers conference at The Cove (Billy Graham Training Center) a friend and I stepped inside the bookstore and a title caught my eye. “Oh.” I laughed and my friend turned to me.
I pointed to a book titled The Man God Uses by Henry Blackaby and said, “I read that as The God Man Uses.
The laugh I expected from her didn’t sound. Her eyes grew wide and her mouth opened. I thought surely my word-reversing eyesight wasn’t so surprising. After all, she’d been around me long enough to know that my words could come out backwards—like Malapropisms. Why couldn’t eyes transpose words as well (or as badly) as the tongue can do with speech?
Her words sounded like a hoarse whisper. “That’s…good.”
I stared at her, then the title again, and her meaning became clear.
“Yes.” My attention returned to her. My writer’s mind, or perhaps just my human mind, began to whirl with the ways that mankind, particularly I, have used God.
“Get your pen and paper,” she said and grinned as I dug into my purse.
While she perused the shelves I went to the trashcan where a flat surface surrounded the open center. Confessions of ways I have used God flew across the page like caged birds when the door is opened.
A line of poetry crossed my mind. “How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.”
My thoughts did a reversal. “How do I use God? Let me count the way.”
How often my prayers were like a give-me list as if He’s no more than a Santa Claus who should dole out presents of health, wealth, and happiness.
Was my transposed title a trick of my eyes, or a treat of the Holy Spirit to bring me into a greater awareness of my failures so that God could grow my faith?
I’m reminded of the scripture: He will give you all you need from day to day if you live for him and make the Kingdom of God your primary concern. – Matthew6:33(NLT)
Oh, I still have my lists of what I want the Lord to do for me and mine. But He reminds me too of how I should pray. That I might not try to use his name and power to glorify myself, but to be used by him for his glory.
I still make my lists of what I need (or want) to do at this season, but try to keep uppermost in my mind that Jesus is the reason for the season.
Would love to read your thoughts on your own preparation for this glorious season.