Walk in obedience to all that the Lord your God has commanded you, so that you may live and prosper and prolong your days in the land that you will possess. Deuteronomy 5:33, NIV
I have gotten into the habit of prayer walking in the morning to start my day (quite literally) on the right foot. It has become such a vital part of my daily routine. So much so that on the days when I don’t do it, I definitely notice a difference in my interactions with others, especially my students.
The other day, while stepping in obedience during my prayer walk, God prompted me to leave voice messages for my former teaching colleagues that have always meant so much to me. The ones He brought to mind, I was blessed to teach alongside for years. But although I developed close relationships with many of them, I didn’t share the same faith with many of them, making God’s prompting feel a little more uncomfortable. But, obedience, right?
So, I began the third mile of my prayer walk sending voice memos, praying for my former colleagues in earnest about whatever God put on my heart. I huffed and puffed my way through the whole 2 to 3 minutes of the prayer for them, apologizing for how out of breath I was. Then, at the end, I very apologetically said, “If this was weird, I’m sorry. God called me to do this and…obedience, right?” I literally said those words. Then, I just quickly said “Okay, love you, bye” every bit as awkwardly and abruptly as you are probably imagining. Again, obedience, right?
When I got back into my car to drive back to work, I knew a song was playing on K-LOVE, but I wasn’t really paying attention to it. Instead, my mind began to wander to how uncomfortable that had been…all of the tasks I needed to get done today…all of the ways I could serve God better…all of the ways I could be a better person…all of the things I needed to change about myself in order to really live out my life as a Christian in a public school and make God love me more…
In an effort to stop my spiraling thoughts, I started to pray again. Then, all of a sudden, my radio changed to a classic rock station that wasn’t even saved in my presets and wasn’t even close to the dial numbers for our local K-LOVE station. The familiar lyrics to a verse of Eric Clapton’s “Wonderful Tonight” came on the radio at exactly the right time:
“Then the wonder of it all is that you just don’t realize
How much I love you”
At that moment, I realized that God was stopping my spiral of thoughts. I could feel His tender reminder that I can’t earn more of His love…I just need to accept that He loves me so much just as I am. He loves me just as much in my huffing, puffing awkwardness during my prayer walk as He does when I’m mentally spiraling into a “faith by works” mindset on my way to school. He loves me even when I’m not obedient, right?
Heavenly Father, thank You for loving me even when I am too busy trying to earn Your love that I just don’t realize how much You love me no matter what. I pray that the educators reading this story today would be undone at the thought that we can’t possibly realize just how much You love us. Remind them that they do not have to strive for that love. It is there no matter what we do. There is no earning it, or earning more of it based on how much we accomplish for You. It’s just there, even when we don’t realize how much You love us. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Copyright Morgan Preston.
Morgan is a former middle school language arts and social studies teacher. She is currently Christian Educators’ Marketing and Communications Coordinator and serves her middle school students and teachers through First Priority Club.