When you pray, go to your inner room, close the door, and pray to your Father in secret...This is how you are to pray: "Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name..." - Matt 6:6 and 9
I used to be in really good shape. In fact, at one point in my life I could run a mile in 4:19.00 (a long time ago). You get really good at something if you practice it over and over and over and over again...but it can also become monotonous.
I am so far from where I once was as a runner, but that doesn't mean I don't have other avenues in which I can challenge my body and mind. But DOING them is easier said than done. The (very nice) gym at my apartment complex is approximately 100 steps from my front door. It takes less than a minute from the time I close my front door to the time the door to the gym closes behind me. MY GYM IS VERY CLOSE. I have lived in this situation since April. I have been to the gym exactly once. ONE TIME. The worst part is I KNOW that after two weeks of working out, I will feel amazing about myself and start to crave a solid sweat session. But I can't do it. It's something I have done thousands upon thousands of times. It should be a simple concept: I want to be in good shape, all the information I need is in my head and all the equipment is at my disposal.
So, why can't I bring myself to start the process? Well, it's a mix of things. Laziness, doubt, fear... just to name a few.
I rationalize - "I'm not going to start until I know I am committed. Otherwise, I'll just quit and have to start from square one."
I doubt - "You're done. You have accomplished enough, and you'll never be what you once were."
This to me is eerily similar to my prayer life. Especially when it comes to the simplest concepts. Like being a child of God for instance. "Ok, yeah. I know... I get it. I'm a child of God and He is my Father. But what else? And what if..." Why do I bring myself to look beyond the simplest and most important truths in hopes of finding something more poignant? Something seemingly more complex? And why is it hard for me to believe or even relate to these simple truths as I grow older?
I don’t have all the answers for my subjective tendencies and experiences, but fortunately these things don’t change the objective and simple truth that I am a child of God. And as child, I am in need of him. Somehow, as I grow older and life becomes more complex, I am called to remember the simplicity of this.
Why? Because it is in this place that I rest. It’s in this place that I remember my true identity as a son of God. In this way the deepest thing we can say about who we are is to recall who we belong to.
"Our Father" is a song about the most simple and profound truth in our lives. We have been claimed as children of God. I've heard it so much that it loses its meaning. So, in writing this song it became clear I needed to revisit the simple and enduring realities of my own life. Of my identity. The concept is simple, the words are simple...it doesn’t even take one minute to get there.
So why is it so hard for me to sing and pray those words and mean it?
Well, I'm out of shape.
I’ve fallen into the trap of spiritual laziness, especially in prayer. I’ve lost sight of how simple it is. I’ve given into the doubt - "you're too far gone. You can't start and stop. You better wait until inspiration hits." - the Pride - "Yeah, ok... I get it. I've said that prayer 1 million times. I don't feel anything when I say it."
This song for me is a return to the basics, the foundation of my Faith. So when you hear the words to the chorus, "We CRY out Our Father,” I hope you feel the tension in my voice. Because I haven't allowed myself to cry out to God, my father, in that way for a long time. I pray it can be a release and true prayer for you too.
I pray it can be as simple as opening the door and walking to the gym.
- Written by Tom Young
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