Remembering to Stop

She barely braked as she sped through the stop sign.

I could smell the cigarette smoke wafting out of her slightly opened window as she zoomed down the road.

I was immediately offended as I huffed under my breath, "Way to slow down for a pedestrian, lady!"

It shocked me because most members of our small community would have stopped at the stop sign, waved me across the intersection, and then proceeded on their way.

Her disregard left me insulted.

It didn't take many steps down the sidewalk, however to feel a conviction in my soul. How many times do I ignore others in my path on a daily basis?

I'm too busy with my to-do list to notice their need for help. I'm too consumed with my own problems and trials that I forget that others are struggling nearby.

So I stopped and prayed for her.

Prayer is probably one of my weakest spiritual disciplines.

I'm not sure why, but I can consistently read and study God's word and forget to ever talk to Him about it.

I can offer a listening ear and counsel to a friend, but disregard the opportunity to pray with her.

I rattle off gospel facts and theological truths to my children, but often hurry back to my household duties without approaching the throne of grace with them.

This video caused me to pause.

Prayer is a beautiful thing. It is a gift earned through Jesus' death and resurrection for me. Even as a broken, prideful human being, I can approach my Father freely. How can I take it so flippantly?

I spiritually speed through the stop sign of prayer moving on to the "more important" things of my day. I ask the Lord to forgive me for my disregard for communing with Him and am overwhelmed that unlike my offense at the speeding driver, He offers mercy after my wayward heart once again fails Him.

At the start of a new year, I know that this area of prayer needs my attention. My desire for 2018 is to echo the words of David in Psalm 63....
You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you, in a dry and parched land where there is no water.

I have seen you in the sanctuary and beheld your power and your glory. Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you.

I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands. I will be fully satisfied as with the richest of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise you.

On my bed I remember you; I think of you through the watches of the night. Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings. I cling to you; your right hand upholds me.