Welcome to our blog! This is a place to share ideas, thoughts, concerns and joys of our faith journey. I'll be posting sporadically, but hope you will feel free to comment and join in the discussions.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

How To Pray

One of the nice things about our congregation is that we have people who compose prayers to share each Sunday. The stand up and deliver a prayer each week and we say, "Lord, hear our prayer," after each petition. I've always been kind of envious of those who do that. The are really good at sharing their inner most thoughts out loud with us and most times we can relate to the ideas of praying for peace in the world or asking for comfort for the sick. One of the reasons I don't do this, as much as I love to stand up front, is because I don't feel  I have enough reverence about me. I have a tendency to want to make people smile or laugh and the Prayer of the Day is not the time for a punch line, at least that's the way I look at it.

But I was thinking today about the way we do go about praying for things. Anne Lamont says some of her most fervent prayers are simply, "help me, help me, help me!" I imagine a child asking God to help him with the next spelling test or help in removing the splinter in her first finger which is bothering her. I know I have prayed that there be retribution for the guy who zoomed in the non-existent right lane in order to get to the light in front of me and six other cars. What do we think God will do in these instances? Instant gratification I assume. What if instead we prayed for patience or wisdom? What if we asked God to help us understand the actions that seem stupid to us, but maybe under difference circumstances would be perfectly understandable?

So I have decided that even though I will still ask for peace in the world and help for the sick, I will ask God to help me out with the patience thing and the wisdom thing and those grander, nobler goals. I may still ask about the splinters, though. The really are quite bothersome.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

The Busyness of Life

I've noticed something lately. We're all very busy. Of course, you've noticed this yourself I'm sure. And it's not a recent development either. We've been busy for some time now. We're running here and there, checking our phones for messages or emails, driving at breakneck speed to get to the store, the gym, soccer practice, little league, piano lessons and don't forget to pick up the card for Mother's Day in between. Busy, busy, busy. It never stops really unless you force the time to stop. Okay, you can't really force time to stop, but you can decide where you will slow down and use the time you have in the ways in which are important to you.

I had decided quite some time ago that Sunday would be the day to stop and slow down for me. I like to go to church and visit my friends there. I like to go to Sunday School for adults and have conversation about things that interest us. I like to come home and leisurely read the paper (including the comics!) with a cup of coffee. I sometimes visit my mother or my daughter. It is my day of rest. Some of us don't have that luxury. Some of us work on the weekends. And too many of us decide that a "day of rest" is antiquated and quaint. But to you I say, everyone needs some time to stop and smell the dandelions. Everyone needs time to sit and stare out the window at nothing in particular with no particular place to go. It doesn't matter if you use this time to meditate or speak with God. It matters that you stop. Because use of quiet, placid time is important for your well-being. Having some "down" time means you pay attention to the things in life that really matter, like the fact that there are dandelions to smell, or a breeze to feel, or white puffy clouds to watch. It means being "present" in the moment and not planning for the future. It means being still and open to the world which is so sumptuously laid out for you.

Try and take some time this week for just sitting still and being. Not plotting and planning for the next moment to come. Just sitting still and being there.

And if you meet God there, well, all the better!