In which there is the “if” prayer

by Craig on August 29, 2011

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I had just turned off all the lights of the Bally fitness center I was managing.

I set the alarm…
walked through double glass doors…
stepped into the huge foyer…
opened another set of double glass doors…
stepped outside, spun around, waited for the door to creak closed…
Then I turned the key, walked to the car in the parking lot.

It was dark – just the parking lot lights.

I got into the car and sat in silence for a few moments…

thinking.

I’ve always been one to sit silently and ponder. Before I knew God it was philosophy. I hearted philosophy. Before that…

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it was the starry sky and questions of who, what, where, when, how, and why?

I reached over to the passenger seat in the car. There was the book, red fake leather, gold trim, maps on the front and back inside covers. I held it in my left hand turned it horizontal and placed my right hand over the top – and pressed down on it.

Then I talked to a person I wasn’t even sure was real.

“These people I know. They believe in you. And this book says if I seek you I’ll find you, and if I knock on the door that you will answer it. I don’t know if that’s true. I don’t know that you are God. But this seems like a guarantee. It seems like if I really do want to find you I’ll be able to.”

I looked at the Bible, opened it, turned a few pages. There’s something about that book – a feeling of respect for it – even if you don’t believe. My eyes darted to the left and the right, not really looking at anything, or for anything.

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Thinking.

I shut the Bible rubbed my fingers over the top of it.

Preparing.

After a few minutes it was time to speak.
And I think I looked up.

Funny how we look up when we talk to God.

“These people…
I kind of trust them…
and they carry this book around…
in public…
and they read it…
and they talk about it…
and you…
like it’s natural…
not in a church way…
but a real. way.”

A sigh.

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I pursed my lips, peering out the windshield, into the dark, as if it would stop time.

A slow breath in followed by a quick sigh and a breath out.

If what these people say is true…
and if you really are God…
and if what it says in this book is true…
and if you are the God of it…
Then…
if you are
but only if you are…”

Up until now my words were slow, pensive, measured. The pace would now pick up like big red rubber ball, kicked foul, and rolling down a hill to the left of third base. They were bold words…

and there is more to this…

and it has to do with the fullness of time.

tomorrow…

please come back.

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

A. August 29, 2011 at 8:49 am

craig, thank you for letting is look at a page, or pages of your life. It helps us to know you better, and so oddly, sometimes, it helps us to know ourselves and God better.

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Craig August 29, 2011 at 2:04 pm

and it’s a page – even though it’s three or four centuries old – that I’ll always rememberツAND – it’ll tie in with the fullness of time – even better ((((heart)))) God bless you A.!

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Cora August 29, 2011 at 9:55 am

A. is so right! For me, nothing is better than to hear the story of someone’s life, the journey they have followed, and how that journey brought them . . . . . here. . . . where our paths cross, and knowing that each of us at different moments in time had been to the cross. I’ve been thinking a lot about “Wow!” moments in people’s lives. It is just so amazing how each of us finds Him. . . or should I say, where HE draws us from and brings us to Himself! Can’t wait for the “rest of the story!”

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Craig August 29, 2011 at 2:07 pm

Cora, it is really astounding how he meets each and every one of us exactly where we are. That’s just another thing he doesn’t have to do – but he does. He could wait for us to find him – but like the father in the prodigal son story – he doesn’t wait until the son lands on the porch – he runs across the field! I heart that about God. And you already kind of know the end of the story – the end of the story is me ツ God bless you Cora.

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Dawn August 29, 2011 at 11:00 am

Dear Craig,

Our own personal “fullness of time…” We each have one. Being a maternity nurse, I so readily know the ramifications of being born “out of time”. He would so much like to have each of us be a full-term newborn, and so we are. We are re-born in our own “fullness of time”. What you write here leads me to so many questions. I need a chat line!!!!!!*

God bless you, Craig,
Dawn

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Craig August 29, 2011 at 2:13 pm

you know – You found something in my words that is full of stunning awesometasticness – and I didn’t even know it was there. ツ (btw invented that word just for you) How you do that? I wasn’t going to put it the way you did – that each of us has a fullness of time. I was almost there – and maybe tomorrow I might have gotten there – MIGHT have gotten there. But you got there today. You won the race I didn’t even know we were running. ツwell done Dawn! Well done! God bless you!

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Michelle August 30, 2011 at 7:09 am

My hubby has an “If you are real, God……” prayer. Turned his life around too.

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Craig August 31, 2011 at 4:11 pm

…and that makes me smile (ˆ◡ˆ) God bless you both!

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Debbie August 30, 2011 at 8:16 am

I not only love reading this to get to know you and God better, and want to know where it is leading to next, but also Craig, I love the way you write and take us places outside of ourselves. :) Thank you! and thank you Dawn, for the awesome comment!
God bless you, all the time!

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Craig August 31, 2011 at 4:13 pm

Sorry I’m late commenting Debbie – thank you for always being so nice. Even if I’m a little late sometimes – you know always reply ツ

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