Thursday, August 30, 2007

Maintenance and Mortgages

When our friends in Denver took the plunge into homeownership, their biggest concern wasn't maintenance and mortgages. Their longing was that their house become a place of rest--for themselves and others.

They didn't envision home as the typical single-family American fortification where the drawbridge shuts as soon as the car is in the garage, your sweatpants are on before your work clothes off, and the neighbors can't see you watching your forty-two inches of high definition, on-demand programming until you fall asleep in the La Z Boy with potato chip crumbs raining grease over your Hanes tee.

These friends ate healthier. And, in fact, lived healthier.

They set a precedent moving into the new house, bringing several of us through, room-by-room, to anoint the place in prayer. In the dining room we prayed for Upper Room fellowship; in the bedroom we prayed for purity and intimacy; in the television room we prayed for laughter, stress-relief, and discipline with time; in the office we prayed for success and vocational excellence; in the bathroom we prayed for regular bowel movements.

My wife and I close on our house this afternoon. A new chapter begins for us, which includes paying utility bills, learning repairs, and watching closely the amount of water we wash down the drains. Like our friends, we don't want the focus to be maintenance and mortgages. We seek a place of rest, and we will pray for it room by room.

Father, we pray thee to fill this house with they Spirit. Here may the strong renew their strength and seek for their working lives a noble consecration. Here may the poor find succor and the friendless friendship. Here may the tempted find power, the sorrowing comfort and the bereaved find the truth that death hath no dominion over their beloved. Here let the fearing find a new courage and the doubting have their faith and hope confirmed. Here may the careless be awakened and all that are oppressed be friend. Hither may many be drawn by thy love and go hence, their doubts resolved and faith renewed, their sins forgiven and their hearts aflame with thy love. Through Jesus Christ our Lord.

(Oxford Book of Prayers; from chapel porch of Pleshey Retreat Home)

No comments: