Once or twice each week my day begins before I'm ready for it. If I've scheduled to have breakfast with someone, or have an early meeting to attend, I'm off and running before I've had time to read my Bible and pray. I know, that's a pretty sad admission for a pastor to have to make, but it's the truth. Once a day starts like that, it's usually pretty much a straight shot through till evening. Once in awhile I'm able to stop in the middle of the day to reorient, but not often.
Today was one of those days. It's now just past ten, and I've been on the go since I got up at six. I did get in some reading time before heading out into the day, but I'm ashamed to say that my prayers were pretty truncated. Tonight as we said our evening prayers with Ian, Eliza, and Gemma, I realized that I hadn't prayed for our grandchildren by name in a couple days, which made me wonder, "What kind of grandfather forgets to pray for his grandkids?"
All this is to say that I'm grateful tonight for guilt, or if you prefer, conviction. I'm grateful that God brought to mind my prayerlessness, that I felt that twinge of chagrin, to have a measure of sensitivity to my inadequacy and shortcomings in this area. It would be tragic if we could go blithely through a week without any awareness of our sins, for with no awareness there can be no confession, if no confession, there can be no forgiveness, and if no forgiveness, there can be no reconciliation and no fellowship with God. Conviction is never pleasant, because through it we are reminded of the immensity of the gulf between God's holiness and our sinfulness. But it paves the way for us to return to the One who made us in his image and for his glory. That's a pretty good place to be, no matter how we manage to get there.