Wednesday, July 07, 2010

prayer

The beach is the place to be today. The sun is out, the skies are blue, and for the first time in 9 months the thermometer is going to surge past 80 degrees. The retired contingent has decided to place themselves nearly in my lap as they compare today's forecast with their months in Arizona. Even though I’d rather not focus on things like weather, I’ll have to admit that this has been a very poor excuse for a Summer. Actually Spring wasn’t much to write home about either. The Fourth of July has come and gone and we’ve not been out on our deck yet. Who’d have thought that my late June DIY pergola project would not disrupt our outside activities at all. So Sunday it was like 65 degrees and tomorrow we will reach into the 90’s. I thought that I had left behind this kind of thing when I moved out of the Northeast to a more reasonable climate here, apparently not this year. Anyway, with my wife in Florida this week experiencing what a real 90 plus degree Summer feels like, I have plunged into project number 3 called “Dan paints the house… by himself”. Now don’t weep for me, the “by himself” part of this was initiated by me. I am thoroughly enjoying it. I will confess to having some help yesterday though…Princess Lily spent the day with Grandpa and assisted with the paint pick up as well as some power washing.

So as I began the process of altering the color of our house in the late afternoon sun, I couldn’t help but anticipate all of the whining that tomorrow and Friday will bring as the temperature rises. Last weekend people were whining about the cool temps and praying for Summer. This weekend they’ll be whining about the heat and dreaming of last weekend. My advice, be careful what you pray for.
We have this human nature thing going on that tells us that not only do we deserve our cake, but we should get to eat it too…. whatever that means. I think it means that we want what we want in the way we want it. We want sun without drought. We want riches without work. We want war without casualties. We want politics without lies. We want oil without risk. We want Summer to stay at 80 degrees with no humidity. We want relationships to work without working at them. My experience as a pastoral artist leading a community of faith is that people, in general, want faith to be like this. They…we want faith to come without doubts. We want strength to come without trials. We want growth to come without investment. We want to be forgiven without needing to forgive.
Unfortunately the God of the universe, and might I add the only one worth following, doesn’t work this way. When you pray, when I pray, we enter in to His realm, with His rules, but also with His knowledge of how we really attain what we say we really want. That is the variable. Do we really know want we really want? It just might be that a prayer for a greater appreciation of life would see financial ruin as an answer. It’s possible that in order to gain, if that’s what you really want, is only fully answered with a devastating loss. It might be that in a prayer for significance, a move 3000 miles from home is presented as the best option. My wife and I prayed for the unknown future spouses of both of our children, even before they were dating. The result… in a month we’ll no longer have unmarried children and we’re freakin grandparents already. But …. our prayers were answered as both of our kids have made wonderful choices… and our grand daughter is… well she’s the princess obviously.
If we could only understand the power of our ability to pray, along with the ability of the One we’re praying to, there is nothing that couldn’t be accomplished. It just might not be how we scripted it. Be careful what you pray for. Me….. I was totally happy with the way Summer was progressing.

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