I Meet a Brother in Contemplative Prayer

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Contemplative prayer

Okay, wow. It’s been a couple months. Where do I start? It has been such an amazing journey at this point. I would say I can’t even tell you, but I’m going to try to do it anyways.

So..

There’s this weight bench, right? It’s kind of a big thing.. pulleys.. and it’s got 200 lbs worth of plates over here.. you’ve got the bench press.. you’ve got a leg press. It’s one BIG unit. It’s been down in our basement. Well, we had our basement flood last summer. That ended up with us getting all new flooring, all across the entire basement which was—thank you Lord—that was fantastic. It was a little bit of work on our part, little bit of money on our part, but essentially, we got our basement re-floored and painted.

Wonderful. A blessing, truly.

As all of that was happening, we ended up trying to get rid of this weight bench. I hadn’t used it in over a year (since I began my meditation practice, really, and then I was doing free-weights prior to that.) The thing sat there in the basement, in pieces, for months. I had put out a couple ads on Craigslist, and—nothing.

It wasn’t moving.

I would get phone calls. They’d say, “Oh yeah, it sounds great.” If I was lucky enough I would get a phone call again, and they would say, “Well no, I’m not going to come out. Thanks, I’ve found another one cheaper,” or whatever. I had dropped the price already, which I thought was pretty reasonable. This bench was a $700-$800 unit, retail. I was selling it for $100 bucks. Finally—after some time—my wife says, “Why don’t I see if I can run it through my channels, and maybe we can still get rid of it?” I said, “Great, go ahead.”

Sure enough, we get somebody who wants to buy the bench for her husband. We make arrangements for them to come pick it up. Just an interesting side-note, these people go to our same church on Sundays. That was kind of a weird coincidence. (But, we don’t believe in coincidences, right?)

So they come over, and as they’re hauling it away there’s a concern that maybe they don’t have all of the pieces, or maybe when they do get it home they won’t be able to get it all set up properly. I’m like, “Alright, well, absolutely. Here’s my number. If you can not get it set up properly, give me a call. I’ll come out to your place (a 20 to 25 minute drive) and I will help you put it together.”

A couple days go by. I finally get the text saying, “Yeah, I think there are bolts missing.” I’m like, “All right. Where are the bolts missing?” The husband described the place that we thought maybe bolts were missing. I looked up the operations manual, found the size of the bolts, went to Home Depot, bought the bolts, and then coordinated with him to drive out during a weekday, and help him put this thing together.

In the process of all that I had given him a call at one point. His voicemail said, “Hey, this is Scott, and oh, by the way, this is also the home of Inner City Ministries.” I said, “Well, that’s kind of interesting. I like to talk about God. I’ll file that away. Maybe I’ll ask him about it.”

I’m out at his place now. We’re in his pole barn, setting up this weight-bench. We’re just talking chit-chat. He’s very personable. I ask him, “So, what’s Inner City Ministries about? What’s this ministry thing I heard on your voicemail?” We start talking. He’s telling me that he goes out into the street and witnesses to others about Jesus Christ. I’m like, “Wow, that’s great. That’s awesome. I love that.”

He turns the table then, and asks me where I’m at spiritually. I said, “Yeah, I’ve been going through this spiritual awakening lately. I’m reading things like John Main and doing some Eastern meditation.. reading some St. Teresa of Avila..” and he goes, “What? St. Teresa? You’re the only Christian that I’ve heard of who’s even heard of St. Teresa. What do you know?” I said, “Oh, I love her stuff talking about contemplative prayer, the seven mansions of the spirit, and just that evolution towards God, and going within.” He’s says, “Yeah, that’s right, that’s it.”

What ends up happening next? We have this great sharing of spiritual journeys, and he’s got an amazing story. I’ll let him tell it at some point in the future. I’m not going to steal that thunder.

(It was funny though. I had the suspicion on the drive out to his place like, “Lord, I don’t know, but wouldn’t it be interesting if this guy turns out to be a lifelong friend?” It was an odd thought that crossed the mental landscape and away it went.)

So, by the time we got done talking, both of us had gotten near tears once or twice. It was just an amazing, amazing experience. I drove away shaking because of the evidence of God in my life during that conversation. It was wonderful. I just thought, “Wow God, you are the Great Orchestrator. The way that weight bench sat in my basement for so long, and then finally moved with this family. The issues, and the voice mail, and just the layers of things that had to stack up on top of each other—the thin threads that led me to having this conversation. It’s just amazing.”

It was amazing to me.

Oh, but there’s more. I’m going to stop here though. I have more to tell you about. This story gets even deeper. In my next post, I’ll be talking about regeneration, salvation—all sorts of stuff—you know, like renouncing yoga. Stay tuned.

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