Pastor Chris said last night, at the introduction to Daniel that in prayer our burdens should tally with our prayers. And that proclamation without prayer is not useless, but also not genuine and useful. I guess I am re-evaluating things as I learn them, because I always thought that God understands me anyway and he made me to be who I am, hence there is no need for prayer. If anything, I would like that extra 10 or 15 minutes of sleep. But if I think of prayer as being a conduit to God, the only way we can speak to him in an undistracted and totally devoted manner, then maybe I should work harder at making it part of my day. Although I still think that I come across as being very annoying because I have so many things in my life that I need help with- choosing a good career, a heartfelt way of writing, help with my physical and mental health, and relationships, all the things I want in my future.
If anything, I know I am inadequate, and I wonder what it feels like to create someone (like a child?) who is lacking in almost all aspects of life. I think the one thing I am good at is reading and listening to stories. Okay that is two things. Being a ‘try hard’ with no results just makes me really tired sometimes. I would like to start my own business in the future, with a plough back profit model for the underprivileged children of the world. And I also want to live in China. And I want to be a better cook. When there are so many things that I want, I guess it raises my expectations of how hard I need to work now?
Thinking about Christ and how he lived for 33 years on earth, in a human body. As Pastor C puts it, stuck in time and space away from God. Praying in lonely places and away from the crowd, from earth to heaven. I don’t know how that feels (although I can identify with the lonely places bit, because I often want to leave the room and go to the nearby grass patch) and I don’t know how all the previous saints and Christians who have lived and loved and lasted their 80-odd years on earth felt. Like I said, woefully inadequate for a 23-year-old. But think of prayer and acts as being ‘shrewd’, using the gifts that we are given for things we cannot see but believe in.
As with all things, learning to practice praying will help. If you can picture a sort of baby hippopotamus frowning and thinking carefully about her next sentence, with the dugongs floating by her, offering plates of grass and coconuts, that’s me. I am a very slow thinker when it comes to non-work related things.
If we think of life as a kind of Olympic games, some of life’s crises are sprints. They require maximum emotional concentration for a short time. Then they are over, and life returns to normal. But other crises are distance events. They ask us to maintain our concentration over a much longer period of time, and that can be a lot harder.
― Harold S. Kushner,