Many years ago, we were a lot younger; Lori and I were called to a church in the western suburbs of Ottawa called Nepean Baptist. We flew out there for the candidate weekend. We looked a little at houses. But we couldn’t make any decision until we knew that we would be coming. The church voted to call us. We needed to find a place to live. We lived in south Edmonton at the time. Ottawa is long drive away to look at houses. So we entrusted our house hunting to someone at the church. We asked them to find us a place to rent.
She found us a townhouse near the church. It was nice and had many of the features we wanted. But there was one feature we did not expect and wondered how it would turn out. That feature was a unique opportunity to get a close up look at trains. The townhouse was three doors and little hill away from train tracks. The first night we spent there, the train came through sometime in the night. We both woke up as the sound of the engines and the weight of the train literally shook our house. We were convinced this would never do.
The next day the train came through again at about the same time. We both woke up as the house shook and the train wheels clacked on the track beside us. But this time we went back to sleep more quickly. Within a week, we already slept through the night or barely noticed the noise of the train. Soon its sound just became part of our everyday lives.
Except when we had visitors. A train would come along. They would jump out of their seats or look wide eyed as the sound and rattling got louder and louder. We would say something like “it’s just the train. We’ve gotten so used to it we hardly even notice it.”
Now something similar can happen with the Lord’s Prayer. We can get so used to it that we hardly even pay attention to what we pray when we recite it. Tim Keller writes, “The whole world is starving for spiritual experience, and Jesus gives us the means to it in a few short words. It’s as if Jesus is saying ‘Wouldn’t you like to be able to come face-to-face with the Father and king of the universe every day, to pour out your heart to him, and to sense him listening to and loving you?"