Sunday, July 20, 2008

Prayer

A few days ago I had one of those days that was filled with a lot of stress and little inconveniences. My chocolate ended up being the wrong kind, and as I watched it set, I realized that during the one day that I turned off my air conditioning and the temperature outside reached close to 90ยบ my chocolate lost its temper. That's a nuisance. It's still usable, but it means I need to buy even more chocolate to use as seed chocolate in each batch I make from this point on. The "seed" creates the right kind of crystal formation in the chocolate. Besides that, realizing I need to track down some cocoa butter is a nuisance.

I misplaced my wallet and needed it to go pick up a prescription that I needed. I was frantically searching high and low for the wallet, but had to leave in order to drive across town to pick up music that I could have picked up two days earlier if I had had the presence of mind to do so. I was zipping all over, hoping to be able to get home in order to find my wallet and pick up my prescription before my students began showing up at 4:00 which would eliminate the possibility of making it to the pharmacy before closing time.

It was just one of those days where things weren't going the way I hoped or planned--one of those insane days we all have from time to time. I've reached a point in my life though that when these days start coming, I just have an internal monologue that says, "It's all going to be OK. It's going to work out. It's all going to be OK." It helps calm the stress, puts things in perspective and it reminds me of the words of Julian of Norwich that I love so much:

All
will be well, and all will be well, and all manner of things will be well.


The little inconveniences of life are just that: little. It's rare that anything of major consequence happens in life. Even my flooded car of a week or so ago is forgotten. There's always some sort of inconvenience, malfunction, leak, cold, cough, ache, pain, or plain irritation that's going to come our way. I find that the best ammunition I have is to continually say, "It's all going to be OK. It's all going to work out." And sometimes, the only prayer I say is, "Dear Jesus, please." Sometimes I find myself saying that over and over and trust that the "please" covers a multitude of requests and trust in the words of Paul: "We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express." I often say this prayer as I'm thinking about the people in my life who are going through some difficult times--sometimes I don't know what they need, and so the "please" is a prayer trusting that God knows best what is needed, and it's a plea with God to aid and help them.

Today we had a sermon on healing by a man diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's disease. He's slowly losing his muscle strength and muscle control and as you can imagine, many people have prayed for his healing. Some have suggested that "if he only had enough faith" he would be healed, along with the other regular things Christians say to those in painful situations. He's not sure how to pray, so his prayer now is the same one as the man born blind in Luke 18, who cried aloud, "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!" He trusts in God, and believes that whatever happens, the reason he suffers from this tragic illness is so that "the work of God would be displayed in his life," as Christ said of another man born blind.

The simplicity of that prayer resonated with me today and I'm going to begin praying it along with what's already become a regular prayer of mine: just saying, "Dear Jesus, please."

2 comments:

alison said...

Great prayers.

During times of duress in my life, my prayers have always simplified, at times coming down to simply, "Yes."

It is exciting that the track in your head is playing, "It's going to be OK" or the more eloquent echoing Julian of Norwich.

Dan said...

Thanks Alison.