Monday, March 25, 2013

3/25/13 by Mark Williams

The biggest trap I see in my life is that it’s so easy think and feel I’m doing it (this thing called life) all by myself. Whether I get sucked into feeling alone and isolated and can’t imagine anyone else having the slightest idea what it’s like for me to go through the pain and suffering I’m subjected to, or I choose to accept, for whatever reason, that by my own force of will or strength of intelligence, that if something is going to happen, I have to make it happen. 

A lot of that changed when I received a jury summons several months ago and was selected for, what turned out to be, a ten-week criminal case. 

I truly don’t think I understood theliteralpower of prayer until I was in the middle of  my time at the Pasadena Courthouse. 

Giving up any amount of control is not an easy thing for me. For the most part, in my line of work what I don’t set up, prep for, dig into, and present for others to read, doesn’t get done (that’s one of the joys of being a work-from-home writer with my bosses in Chicago). Did you know many Chicago businesses allow for at least nine weeks for jury duty for their employees?

What I thought was a horribly unfortunate situation turned out to be a great lesson and opportunity for me to relearn (that’s usually how it works for me—learn, forget, relearn) that as much as I’d like to think I’m in control and free to be out in front, choosing my own path, the best place for me to be is behind Jesus, centered on the plan he has laid out for me. 

Letting go and trusting Him at the exact moments I wanted to cling tighter and tighter to my own comfort habits, my own strengths, would have been impossible without, what eventually became, my daily prayers and conversations with Him. I asked Him why I needed to hear this brutal testimony and what possible good could come of all this, and He kept responding, “Give it to me.” Why is there so much brokenness here? Give it to me.Why are jury deliberations making me feel claustrophic? Give it to me. Why do you want me to step forward? Give it to me. How are we ever going to agree? Give it to me. 

Obviously, I’m a slow learner. Where I thought I wasn’t getting a direct answer, I eventually realized I was. Without the act and discipline of prayer  and my conversations with Jesus, I was having a great deal of trouble remembering to give it all to Him.  Thankfully, He was very patient with me. All I know is without prayer, without my LCPC community, without other strong Christians around me, my life is out of focus. 

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