So every Friday I am going to give you a 5 minute worship idea to do as part of your quiet time, family worship or at some point during your day. Maybe take 5 while eating your lunch in the car, or while the baby has a nap. Wherever, whenever if we put time aside Jesus joins us! Today I invite you to put yourself in our heavenly Dad’s shoes.
Sometimes we can get so caught up in our own issues we fail to lift ourselves out of the situation and see the bigger picture. Emotions, work, pressure, fear can all take over and cause us to get lost in the moment and forget the wider story we are part of, let alone how others read the issue from the outside in. Sometimes thinking about God’s view on the whole thing doesn’t even cross our minds yet the prodigal son story shows us that God is always looking out for us and wants to direct us with a simple glance of ‘his eye’ if only we would look up and see him waiting.
This week for you may have been a breeze but some of you may have also got caught up in some detail or other, that has distracted and set you off course. Try this wherever you are to regain some perspective and grab back some time , thoughts and control over your situations.
1.Sit down somewhere where there is a space next to you. Go sit in the car- maybe take the passenger seat to start this meditation. Sit on your sofa, at the dining table, or simply on the floor.
2. Place a spare pair of shoes on the floor next to you, where an imaginary persons feet would be. Alternatively draw round your feet on a piece of paper and draw some bigger feet on some paper and place that on the floor next to you. Ultimately you are imagining you are sitting next to your heavenly Dad.
3. Sit in your seat and read the story of the prodigal son. When the son leaves to follow his worldy desires, replace them with your objects of distraction or situation. Meditate on the scripture. Let the text come alive in your imagination and think about the sounds, smells, tastes of the places the son went. What was going through his mind? Was he aware of his father?
4. Now move seats and sit in the place of ‘the Father’. Wear his ‘shoes’. As you read the story again, ask God to reveal to you his perspective on the situation you have troubling your mind. As you read the story from his perspective, his chair, what does he want to say to you.
5. Take a few moments to let any insight you have received sink deep. Be in worship of a God whose unwavering love for you transcends all things, get close to him, lift your eyes off of that distracting place towards Him instead. He will guide you with ‘his eye’
Read the scriptures above with your children. Talk to them about things which distract them or take their focus off God. Set up the chairs and read the story together. This time rather than an empty space next to them sit yourself down in the chair beside them and upon reading the story a second time, pick them up and read it with them cuddled in your lap, in ‘Daddys’ chair. Explain that God is like you, a parent always watching over them. Choose a situation which is worrying or challenging them and pray together asking God to help guide them through it.
A friend led something similar to this during a weekend prayer event our small group organised at our church and so I know it can work well if you are also meeting in a house group this week. Set up two chairs in a corner of the room for people to spend time gaining fresh perspectives. Combine it with a study on the prodigal son story,Psalm 32 or take a look together at ‘our father who art in heaven‘. It could even work during a worship time in a main meeting where pairs of seats could be made available for people to go and sit in during the worship time with some prompt cards detailing the scriptures and process.