My regular readers know two things about me very well:
1) I’m terrible at follow-through.
2) I dearly love a challenge.
I won’t tell you about the absolutely off-the-wall experiment I’m about to pull on my poor, defenseless body, for fear that you’ll try to talk me out of it (I have the feeling that I’m about 3 “concerns for what people think of me” away from succumbing to mad scientisthood), but tonight I began setting the stage for another challenge in which I’d like to invite you to join me, should you be so inclined. And the bonus round of this challenge is that it involves in-built accountability, so if you’re as bad at follow-through as I am, this is a good way to practice acting on at least one of your plans.
I went out with my friend Charissa after class today. (I interrupt this bulletin to announce that I adore Charissa. She’s a gem, and our conversations are mind-blowingly rich. Check out her well-worth-visiting blog here.) In the course of our conversation, I referenced an idea I had gotten recently from a book (I only wish I could tell you which one): that of finding someone to pray for you once a week for a year regarding a specific area of growth.
I love this idea for a variety of reasons–the continuity, the intentionality, the accountability, the potential to tangibly track that area of growth. . .I don’t know about you, but in my prayer/accountability groups I usually feel pressure to add some spice to my sin life. No one wants to hear the same prayer requests week in and week out; pious judgment becomes awfully tedious when it can only reference the same area of a person’s life over and over, you know?
I love the idea of going on the offense in one’s spiritual growth. I find that my personal prayer requests are usually chosen as a reaction against a certain sin. One week I might pray for trust because I’ve distrustful. Another I might pray for self-discipline because I wasn’t. Nothing is necessarily wrong with that pattern, per se, but I like the idea of selecting an area and actively trying to grow in it before I see myself wallowing in a lack of that trait. I love the idea of having someone who is absolutely committed to praying for my growth in that area–it feels very personal and reliable, not to mention hope-releasing. There’s something very powerful in knowing that someone is regularly and specifically going to war for you.
When Charissa and I separated this evening, it was with the assignment to think of an area of personal growth we’d like to tackle this year.
Perhaps you already do this, to which I say, “Kudos. In eternity, you may laugh at my tiny heavenly shack from your mansion.” To those of you who don’t have such a system in place already, I encourage you to join me. I’ll try to keep you updated on the process in my own life once I select a request, and I would love to hear from y’all if you choose to do the same!