Friday, May 06, 2005

A Father's Prayer for Consistency

Moses, ancient emancipator of enslaved Jews, had a vision. His vision was of a burning bush that spoke with a voice he could understand. That voice identified itself as the God of Moses’ people. When pressed for a name, God said, "I am that I am."

Later Moses declares, "Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one" [1]. To this day, the Jews hold the Shema as the central prayer of their faith. In the opening statement based on Moses’ declaration above, Jews are affirming their belief in the one, eternal, unchanging, all-powerful God [2].

This morning as I prayed over my family, I asked God to help me be a better father to my two daughters. I prayed, "Lord, help me to be consistent with my discipline." The moment I said that—yes I pray out loud to an unseen God—I immediately added, "Help me be consistent with my love, too." Then, I pondered the whole concept and realized that I just need to be consistent—period—so I asked God to make me more consistent in my life.

I thought about how I’ve always heard that consistency is the rule in discipline. I am reminded about it every week on television, whether its Dr. Phil or the Super Nanny. But my daughters need me to be consistent in everything. They just need quality daddy time, so I need to be consistently reliable.

That’s what I love about God and about the Jewish affirmation of him in the Shema. Although I do not wear the label "Jew," I do consider myself "the seed of Abraham" and an heir by means of adoption. I see the Shema as affirming God’s consistency. If he is "I am," with no one of higher authority to correct or change him, then I know he can be relied on to stay the same day-to-day.

Because of Jesus’ teachings, I know that "I am" is also "Father." I believe that he is approachable and always available to me. That’s why I pray. Its how I communicate with him. I believe he hears me, and he answers. He’s consistent that way; reliable.

For me, the Shema says that God is eternally reliable. I want to be that way, also. I want to be a consistent person in life, accessible to my daughters and always willing to listen. Thank you for hearing my prayer, Father. Amen.

[1] Deuteronomy 4:6
[2] Dickson, Athol, "The Gospel According to Moses," Brazos Press, 2003, p. 33.


mdwinn said...

good reading you have done, the Shema... He is ONE. What have we been missing? Ahh the ancient sacred text that drives us to the divine...

nolesrock said...

a jedi master i am not...hmmm...but one i hope to become...yeesssss

VTwin4Him said...

To be consistent, one has to surrender all, die to self and allow the Father to become real in our lives, that it is no longer us walking it out on our own ideas, but His permeating through us.