Whosoever prays like a cricket chirps…..

I met the early morning with perfect contentment. The cool moist air tickled my skin as I sped down the bike trail.  Letting my mind clear of worries and home front concerns, I absorbed the nature around me.  Lush green leaves, still pond water dotted with lily pad flowers in bloom, and sunshine that tried so desperately to eat up the morning fog delighted my senses.  An occasional bullfrog sounded, but it was the cricket symphony that captured my thoughts.

I imagined the numbers of crickets it must take to create a sound so loud in the open air.

Singing in the shower is a wonderfully fun indulgence, isn’t it?  I mean, everyone’s voice sounds so much better in the shower – tone quality seems more refined; it is always a satisfying pleasure.  Yet, have you ever tried singing in the open?  I recall a time when I was singing in the yard as I hung out clothes and noted my voice seemed incredibly small.  It just didn’t resonate the same way as it did in the shower.  Could anyone hear me — even in the house fifty feet away…did anyone know I was singing my heart out?

So my thoughts went wild as I rode my bike through the concert hall of creation listening to the crickets.

Did you know that only the male crickets sing?  And they sing only to attract a mate and attain union.  As long as it takes, they chirp til they are paired up.  It is what they do.  As I pedaled away,  I was imagining the numbers of crickets it must take to create the sound that so delighted my ears.  They must be under every leaf, every stone, every nook and cranny of the wooded carpet that surrounded me.  A little creepy to think of the numbers perhaps reaching the thousands…all underfoot.

And yet, I thought, WOW …… imagine if we prayed like the male cricket chirps….

I imagined our heavenly Father contentedly listening to the orchestra of prayers that reach His ears as we lay our requests at His feet.  I imagined the Church at large creating a similar symphony for God’s ears.  All kinds of requests blended together to make a beautiful sound; the continual conversation sung sustains the melody and offers delight.

And I wondered, do I do my part in the orchestra?  Scripture tells us to “pray without ceasing: in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:17 & 18).  Clearly stated, it is God’s will for us to pray without stopping.  With a chuckle I ran this line in my head, Whosoever prays like a cricket chirps, is in God’s will. 

I felt the Holy Spirit speak to me in this whimsical moment of contemplation.

Yes.  I need to pray like the cricket chirps – continually, with the purpose of both seeking and keeping union with God.  I need to pray in secret – in every nook and cranny of my walk in life.  We, as a Church, need to pray like the crickets and create the sweet melodic offering to our Father as we do His will.  So I challenge you today to pray like a cricket chirps and add your sound to the  symphony…. I imagine that our Father might be thoroughly delighted at His children embracing His will.

Certain to grab either a flip, or a flop

Her hair is golden and shimmers in the sunlight.  Her big round eyes look at me with intent.  The chase is on!  She ready’s herself as I approach with as much cunning as I can muster, but she knows the game.  We’ve done this before.  I try to act as if everything is alright and there is not a care in the world as I nonchalantly try to walk by her.  Then, as I reach out and try to grab it out of her mouth she darts off in the nick of time.

Ginger, our golden retriever pup beat me again.  I am no match for her speed and agility!  Another flip-flop falls prey to her mischievous nature.  I think flip-flops are her second favorite food next to peanut butter.  As soon as she sees a pair left unattended, she is certain to grab either a flip, or a flop, and run and hide and chew.  It is truly amazing how fast she can tear the foam to pieces.  I believe she has destroyed at least five pair this summer and she knows she’s a bad dog.  But she can’t help it.

Just the other day, I caught her before she got to the door to make her escape.

I said,

She turned her head slowly to look at me with so-sad-eyes.  She hesitated.  I thought I was gonna win this time!  But then, she slowly walked to the door keeping her eyes locked on mine.  As soon as I took one step closer to her, she bolted.  She so knew that she was doing wrong, but she could not help herself.  She was compelled.

I stood in the doorway watching her romp and chew, and I thought.  That’s me.  I am just like a dog sometimes when it comes to doing things I want to do….but that I ought not to do…but do them anyway.  Romans 7:15 tells of this very dilemma,  “I do not understand what I do.  For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate, I do.”

When I do not do what the LORD wants me to do, I am in sin.  Though I desire to always do what the LORD wants, I sometimes fail in the worst way – the knowing I’m doing wrong way.  Like my dog, I look back at God and contemplate, but then I give in and am compelled to do otherwise; and then I hate it and exclaim in my heart, ARG!…UG!…What’d I do that for! 

In my own strength I am not able to win the battle. I struggle. I am just as weak as anyone else. Thankfully God knew that I needed a Way given to rescue me.  He gave me…. He gave us, The Way through Jesus Christ.

Romans 8:1 lays it out, “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.”

I stood in the doorway thinking to myself, I may act like a dog from time to time, but I am no dog.  I am an image bearer of God and I have been blessed with the Holy Spirit which has set me free because I’ve got Jesus in my heart.  He conquered sin and therefore I can too. I am not perfect, nor will I ever be, yet I can call out and claim the power of the Holy Spirit to lead me in the right and better way, doing what I ought.

I am set free.  Unlike my Ginger, “free” in the fenced yard with her pile of foam rubble.  I am free to have a mind set on the Spirit and I gain life and a whole big pile of peace.  Will you join me?