Dumping or Delivering or Both?

What kind of vehicle best describes your communication with God?

Photo by John Garrish

Yesterday my journal was like a dump truck hauling a pile of petitions to heaven.  Of course, journals are a fine place to write prayers, questions, random thoughts and observations, but that entry was particularly…dumpy.

Some days my prayers zoom around in circles like race cars on a NASCAR track.

Or they sputter and stall like a junker with a dead battery.

Then there are the wonderful moments when prayer flows freely like a sports car on the Autobahn.

Yesterday, I drove a dump truck.

After unloading it in my journal, I decided to change vehicles and take a drive among some powerful memories of God’s faithfulness over the years, his blessings, his Word, his promises, and his character.  A convertible, with its unobstructed view of God’s goodness, seemed like the perfect machine for that trip.  Recalling and thanking God for his past blessings was like arranging bouquets of gratitude.

Maybe I should have done that first.

Or maybe it’s ok.  Many Psalms begin by dumping a load of grievances, confessions, fears, and anxiety onto God.  (See Psalm 73 for an example.)  After getting it all out, the writer usually ends up remembering who God is and what he has done, and so the Psalm ends with a delivery of gratitude and praise.  I guess my dump truck and I are in good company.

In the end, my journal read something like this:

Thank you, Lord, for…

Life, breath, and strength for this day

Freedom

Love, family, and friends

Rain

Work, education, and opportunity

Home, health and happiness

A soft bed

You! Your presence, your power and your love

Beauty and changing seasons

Your faithful provision for me every single day of my life

And quite a few more…

Photo by Rebecca Westphal

What are you thankful for today?  Do you tend to dump desires, deliver gratitude or both?  Are there any other vehicles that describe your prayer life?

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”  Philippians 4:6-7

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About Judy

At heart I am a student of truth, an observer of culture, and a communicator. Jesus is my teacher and my Lord. In pursuit of these passions, I read as much as I can, serve as Teaching Director for a Community Bible Study group, and write a blog in an attempt to synthesize it all. I take great delight in my relationships with family and friends, and I also enjoy long walks, bike rides and cooking. And did I mention that I like to read?
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14 Responses to Dumping or Delivering or Both?

  1. Hi Judy, I loved reading your thoughts on prayer. I never thought about what kind of vehicle would describe my communication with God! There are so many needs in people’s lives and I wish I could pray for everyone. I guess my answer is a bus! :)

  2. GodGirl says:

    A wonderful analogy of ‘vehicles’ for our prayers! I think God is used to our many styles of prayers and loves us all the same :) – but what a wonderful motivator to praise him for all he’s done rather than simply offloading. God bless.
    Ali

  3. Enjoyed your word imagery! I’m thankful to overflowing…my list goes on! Thanks for sharing!

  4. mybroom says:

    Hi Judy the old you is back, hope you didn’t mind my comment – you look good in both gravatars, I’m glad my wife is in mine with me – she definitely makes me look good. Don’t mean to go on but the contemplative look in that pic is a real writers thing. Where was I, Ah Yes, I would be a flying car, chitty-chitty-bang-bang style, observing life from a writers birds-eye-view. cheers G

    • Judy says:

      I didn’t mind the gravatar feedback at all, Graeme. And I haven’t thought about chitty-chitty-bang-bang in years! I look forward to reading what you observe from the heights!

  5. meanwhilein3 says:

    your cleverness and writing are amazing. Such a great analogy!

  6. Caddo Veil says:

    This is so great, Judy! Being a non-driver, I now have a better visual of my prayer vehicle/delivery style: after obsessively “looking all directions”, I probably squint my eyes tight and dart out into the intersection on high octane faith. God bless you today–love, Caddo

  7. Cara Olsen says:

    There are certainly times in life when we will need to dump, and thus drive the dump truck. But, Judy, you look wonderful in that convertible.

    Blessings,
    Cara

    • Judy says:

      Thanks Cara:) It’s funny, because the convertible is my husband’s “baby.” We called it the “fourth child” for years, but I guess it’s good that he’s taken such good care of it because it is still a fun 11-year-old car. (We drive our cars until they drop.) But, I have to say, I do love driving it. Especially after the dump truck:)

  8. Larry Who says:

    I’ve never looked at myself as a vehicle, but if I did, I’d be an old pickup truck with plenty of dents, scraped paint, and junk in the back. Probably a small six cylinder and manual transmission, too. Now as for you, I can easily see you as a red convertible heading down the road, riding on the wind. People waving and saying “Hi” as you zip down the road.

    So, the next time, you pass an old pickup truck, think of old Larry. Pray that he makes it to the next light, okay?

    • Judy says:

      I think you’ll easily make the next light and way beyond, Larry:) And you should see the old, beat up, tan mini-van I also drive. Hmmm…what kinds of prayers get delivered in that? Routine stuff, regular deliveries, I guess, like a carpool.

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