If you haven’t read What Is The Experiment yet, then I encourage you to do so before you read this first post.  Tomorrow I will officially begin the Experiment, and I thought it would be good for posterity’s sake to record the point at which I’m beginning, where I am in life and what I am like, since the point of the Experiment is to see where God takes me through this next year.

I am dissatisfied with the amount of time I spend with God through prayer and study.  I do pray daily, at least with my family when we put my daughter to bed, and often a few other times, either before a meal or in the car or when I happen to think about it.  Nevertheless, I’m far from disciplined about my prayer life, and it seems universally true that those people who do have a thriving prayer habit regularly see God working through and around them, and I want for this to be true of myself – not for my sake, but for God’s.

My study habits are even more dismal, and I read from my Bible maybe once a week at best.  This Experiment is first and foremost about prayer, since access to God through prayer existed even before the Scriptures, and yet God’s written word is another means by which God transforms us, making us more like Him, drawing us to Himself.  It is that transformation and that closeness to God that is at the core of this Experiment, and I am certain that if I pray more often, I will find myself being drawn to God through his written Word more often as well.

My life frequently feels like it is aimless.  I mean, I have a job that I’m not dissatisfied with, and I have stuff to do, even meaningful stuff.  Sometimes I meet or hear from people who seem to be focused like a laser toward a specific purpose or goal, and everything they do is designed to hit that target.  I’m not sure where my target is.  Is it music?  Is it discipleship?  Is it missions or hunger relief or social justice?  Is it within the Church or outside of the Church?  I care about all of these things, and while I can – and should – participate in all of them to some degree, Romans 12:3-8 points out that each of us has a primary function and calling.  I waver on what mine is, and would love to have more clarity where this is concerned.

There are struggles I continue to carry with me, and places where my patience grows thin.  I sometimes find it difficult to be loving, and would usually prefer to put my own agenda before other people who aren’t a part of that agenda.  Too often I find myself meeting another person’s need not because I care about them, but because I feel that I should.  Most of the time, given the choice between a good DVD and time focused on God or serving another person, I’ll spring for the DVD, or at least really want to.

This is not the kind of person God desires me to be.  God, who is loving, selfless, and sacrificial, made me to be like Himself, and He wants to heal me of the brokenness that causes me to put myself before Him and others.  I hope, and even anticipate, that at the end of a year of constant prayer, I will be more that kind of person than I am now.