I kept trying to ignore the gentle nudge.
I sat outside the building where our classes meet, under the big oak tree at the picnic table that seems built for first graders, though our high school students often have lunch there. Purple pen in hand, I was trying to annotate my way through Antony and Cleopatra in hopes of somehow helping selections of it make sense to my energetic 9th graders.
I needed to grade papers and catch up on email and do lesson plans and everything else I was so behind on. I was tired, in body, heart, and mind—I could count on one hand the decent nights of sleep I’d had since beginning this job. I just needed to get stuff done.
Worship music and spoken prayer floated out the open windows of the large auditorium nearby, where a segment of the International House of Prayer meets. There’s a constant stream of that at all hours of the day on our campus, I think even at night, though I’m never there then. I’d enjoyed the music but never really wanted to go in before.
But now I kept feeling the nudge to do just that.
But…I needed to get stuff done.
Finally, though, I gave in. I packed up my school supplies and lugged them with me over to the auditorium and through one of the open doors.
Frankly, I was afraid someone would approach me and ask if I needed prayer or drag me down front or something. But no one did. Most of the action, the audible praying and praising, was way down near the front. Other than that, people sat quietly in chairs scattered throughout.
So I found one. And I sat, and bowed my head and closed my eyes and opened my hands, and prayed, and listened. And then got up and quietly left. I needed to teach a class again soon.
Nothing spectacular happened when I was in the auditorium. But I was reminded of something really important, something I’d been forgetting…that He is here, and He is real, and eternity is far nearer than we often think.
I didn’t hear any specific word from Him—I can’t even remember what I prayed. But I felt His presence, His Spirit, His Love. I sensed the touch of the eternal on my weary heart, as I have too in other times of prayer recently with others recently, when for a short time the veil between heaven and earth grows thinner, and I’m reminded that there’s so much more to life than what we can see.
Amid waves of lesson plans and grading and computer troubles and meetings and classroom discipline and wedding planning and the earthly nitty-gritty of relationships and day-to-day life, it’s so easy to forget all this isn’t the main point. That God is up to something. That I have the chance to be part of His beautiful, redemptive plans and purposes in our world…through teaching young people at a school that aims to train them up as leaders in God’s Kingdom, through loving those around me, through getting ready to be married, and most of all through knowing Jesus, the One who makes anything matter in the first place.
I’m thankful for His reminding me of that.
Are you weary right now, in body or in heart? May He give you glimpses of eternity too.