For my twenty-third birthday, my sweet sister threw me the most incredible surprise birthday party ever. I mean, EPIC. All of my favorite people, favorite foods, the most beautiful 7 layer chocolate birthday cake, great music, oh my! The house was decorated with streamers and balloons and buzzing with great party fun.
But I remember it best because I never actually made it to the party.
My sneaky sister did such a great job of making sure that I would be surprised, that I had no idea there was something in the works and headed out of town.
But as all true party people know, the party must go on. Birthday girl, or no, they were not missing a chance to spend a night with great people and great food. They all recorded me a video telling me how much they were loving the party and too bad I couldn’t be there.
A birthday party without the birthday girl.
I feel like I do this with God all the time. I create the perfect environment: great music, dimmed lights to a soft golden glow, super snuggly blanket, a great pen and pencil, and a hot cup of coffee. Everything is perfect. Until I realize that I spent 20 minutes getting all set up and forgot to invite the guest of honor.
I spend the majority of my time with the Lord on me. Not only do I spend ridiculous amounts of time making sure I am super comfortable, I spend an embarrassing amount of time telling God about all the things I am frustrated with, bored with, in need of, and desirous of. After I have sufficiently made a case for God to arrange my life around me so that I will feel zero pain or anxiety, I thank him, blow him a kiss and head off to work.
It’s not that I think that asking God for things is wrong. I think it’s right and good to talk to God about the details of my life and my heart. But if I’m not careful, I will begin to believe that God should be designing my world, my life, my day to look the way I want it to instead of the way He wants it to.
Matthew Henry said that prayer should look like this:
Let not self, carnal self, be the spring and centre of your prayers, but God; let the eye of the soul be fixed upon him as your highest end in all your applications to him; let this be the habitual disposition of your souls, to be to your God for a name and a praise; and let this be your design in all your desires, that God may be glorified, and by this let them all be directed, determined, sanctified, and, when need is overruled.
Lord, help the eye of my soul be fixed upon you.