Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Prayer (church of the out-of-control)

I friend went to different church awhile back and said they had this prayer printed in their liturgy. He brought me a copy of it thinking I would like it. I think most of it is pretty great (though there are a few parts I'm not sure about). Anyway, I need to get it down here before I lose the piece of paper. It goes like this...

I am part of the church of the Out-of-Control. I've given up my control to God. I've jumped off the fence; I've stepped over the line. I've pulled out all the stops; I'm holding nothing back. There's no turning back, looking around, slowing down, backing away or shutting up.

It's a life against the odds, outside the box, over the wall, "Thy Will Be Done..." I'm done playing by the rules, whether it's Robert's Rules of Order or Miss Manner's Rules of Etiquette or Martha Stewart's Rules of Living or Merrill Lynch's Money-minding/Bottom-lining/Ladder-climbing Rules of America's Most Wanted.

I am not here to please the dominant culture. I live to please my Lord and Savior. My spiritual taste buds have graduated from fizz and froth to Fire and Ice. Don't give me that old-time religion. Don't give me that new-time religion. Give me that All-time religion that is as hard as rock and as soft as snow.

I've stopped trying to make life work, and started trying to make life sing. I'm finished with secondhand sensations; third-rate dreams; I can't be bought by any personalities or perks, positions or prizes.

I won't give up, though I will give in... to openness of mind, humbleness of heart, and generosity of spirit. When shorthanded and hard-pressed, I will never again simply hang in there.

I will stand in there; I will run in there; I will pray in there; I will sacrifice in there; I will endure in there - I will do everything in there but hang. I am organized religion's best friend and worst nightmare.

I won't back down, slow down, or let down until I'm preached out, teached out, healed out, hauled out of God's Mission in the world entrusted to members of the Church of the Out-of-Control... to unbind the confined, whether they're the downtrodden or the upscale, the over-looked or the under-represented.

My fundamental identity is as a disciple of Jesus. And I won't walk through history simply "in His steps," but will seek to travel more deeply in God's Spirit.

Until God comes again or calls me home, you can find me filling, not killing, time so that one day God will pick me out in the line-up of the ages as one of God's own. And then... it will be worth it all... to hear these words, the most precious words I can ever hear: "Well done, thou good and faithful... Out-of-Control Disciple."