Sunday, May 21, 2006

The Dangerous Prayer of Blessing

The Anchoress has a very interesting post, and I would encourage everyone to read the whole thing, but I will quote just a few parts of it. It starts with a blessing [which is] is dangerous because it takes you (and me) out of the equation and dares to allow God to work what and as He will.

May all your expectations be frustrated.
May all your plans be thwarted.
May all your desires be withered into nothingness.
That you may experience the powerlessness and the poverty of a child and sing and dance in the love of God the Father, the Son and the Spirit.
That sounds like a terrible prayer if you are praying it, for example, for a dying loved one, for parents of a sick child. But is it, really? In fact, it sums up the whole idea of “not my will, but thine be done…” it is precisely what Jesus taught us, but we forget that.

We’re so into “feel good” Christianity and “Expect a Miracle” thinking (and there is much to feel good about, in Christianity, and many miracles to expect) that we forget the hard truth - that beneath all of that we’re supposed to be disposed toward surrender, we’re supposed to be getting out of the Creator’s way (and our own) so that He may increase as we decrease. We pray “thy will be done…” but I think many times we don’t mean it. We say it because we know we “should,” but it’s bittersweet. “Okay, Lord, you’re going to do it your way, so I’ll acquiesce…but, please, please, can’t you do it my way? Think about it, Lord! My way is pretty good, too, isn’t it? And you want me to be happy, don’t you? Get back to me, Lord! Love ya! Mean it! Call me!”

Later in the post she refers to Conservatives who have abandoned Bush on the matter of immigration: I’m thinking of another group demanding “what it wants, when it wants it,” my friends who have taken the uncompromising stand on illegal immigrants, the stand that says “ship them all out, no amnesty, not even for folks who have been here a long time and been productive…and by the way, Bush sucks. He sucks about everything, now, because he didn’t say yes to us.”

She then relates it to the story of Moses And damn you, Moses, leading us out of slavery and into the desert. When we were slaves in Egypt, at least we had melons and meat. You suck, Moses - we can’t see the sense in what you’re doing and we don’t like it. You’re slow of tongue, you’re stupid, you’re letting us down, you’re breaking faith and you should put someone else in charge. You’ve only given us 75% of what we want! Yeah, the Red Sea parting was nice, but what have you done for us lately? And you’ve been too long on that freaking mountain, too. Let’s melt some gold!

A lot to think about.

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