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10.28.2010

CENTER OF THE PERSONALITY CHART

In corporate training sessions over the years I have heard all about personality types, styles, charts, taken personality diagnostic tests, found out what is my dominate and passive traits, and what personalities have the greatest ability to adapt to all personality types.  Those who can navigate successfully all personality styles are center of the personality box people.  Where they strategically sit in the mix of personality types allows all other styles to intersect them.  I think God is like that too.  He sits in the center of the personality chart, able to know and meet all of our different approaches to Him, our methods, our ways of communicating.  Prayer is interesting to me and how we all view it, use it and physically verbally pray.  My Dad and others I have heard pray over the years have a sort of drawn out syllabically changed version of saying God.  It seems to come out something like, "Gauwd".  Not sure why exactly as it only comes out during prayer not in regular conversation.  I have wondered over the years if God ever giggles at how we all approach Him.  One of our former Youth Pastors, himself an alternative sport nut, touted and addressed God from the pulpit many times as "Dude or The Big Man Upstairs".  I had to suppress laughter when I heard it.  Maybe God just merely smiled knowing that was Jeff's love language to Him.  Mattie was an old lady at church and she always started her prayers in this blue collar matter of fact way, "Dear God, it's me Mattie.  I was thinking..."  Sometimes I wished for dramatic purposes she would have added, "You know Mattie Stiebritz, brick house corner of Starke and Woodbridge." :)  I've heard people pray in a very strange way, appearing to have put on this cloak of humbleness, that seems a bit unauthentic based on how they are outside of praying.  I have wondered what God thinks about that.  My ex-husband's deceased grandmother was quite a woman of prayer.  I loved to hear her pray.  It seemed to come from 97 years of relationship with God - a familiarity with who He was that allowed her to approach with a history of God hearing and answering her.  She boldly went to Him with expectation that He was God and all that meant.  Through the years of being in church I've heard some eloquent prayers that seemed to be prayed more for the listeners than who was being prayed to.  Beautiful, but seemingly hollow words.  Did God take an intermission break during those prayers since really they weren't intended for Him anyway?    How about evangelists, southern or black preachers?  They have a cadence almost to their prayers.  "Dear Gauwd ah (pause pause), we come to you ah (pause pause), Creator of the world ah (pause pause), and Giver of all life ah (pause pause), the Alpha and Omega ah (pause), The Beginning and the End ah (pause), the One before all things ah (pause) . . . It seems those prayers are about addressing God's titles and subtitles in a never ending opening paragraph which never seems to progress to the body of the prayer.  Some prayers I've heard contain small sermons covering all major and minor books of the prophets, parts of the Israelite's journey from obedience to disobedience and then back to obedience, along with a portion of the entire documented birth, life, death and resurrection of Christ all held within the prayer.  I am lost in those prayers and wonder if God is thinking, "Nice, good material, but I wrote it so I kind of know that already."  I have heard some prayers that are beautifully scripted having been penned thoughtfully before even being prayed.  Do you think that takes away from being led by the Spirit or is extra credit a good thing with God?  There are roteish prayers like "Now I lay me down to sleep...", or the famous, "Good Food.  Good God.  Let's eat."  Some of the Catholic prayers recited word for word week after week denote sameness and repetition.  Maybe God likes that as we probably never truly master any spiritual concept and He knows we will need to repeat learning stuff over and over again in our lives.  Of course too there are rescue prayers, plea bargain prayers, and prayers we pray that we don't fully know the magnitude of trouble we will face if God decides to answer them.  Some prayers over a person or issue involve a steadfastness in our hearts to stay in prayer for a lifetime over that person or issue.  God I believe loves when we feel passionate enough to keep talking with Him about anything, everything, always.  I myself have prayed prayers of questioning and even yes, anger at God - at not understanding, of crying out.  He has withstood my questions, my anger, my frustration, my wounded spirit and even at times my wordless sobbing.  He even asked me to come back anytime.  I'm so glad He is in the center of the personality box.   

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