Monday, February 1, 2010

Prayer Request

Today I’m sending out a prayer request. I won’t say if it is for me or for someone else. Because God knows and He will decide how it all plays out. Plus, since it is my belief that we are all interconnected in the family of faith, anyone’s prayer request is mine by default as well. So, please don’t wonder, and don’t worry. I’m not.

The day is blue and fresh and crisp and outside the world is coming to life. People got into vehicles to drive to jobs this morning that they are either passionate about or once were…and are performed because they are a means to provide for those that they are passionate about or are responsible for supporting. The aroma of coffee is in the air, and the sounds of office equipment can be heard tapping along comprising the heartbeat of corporate America.

The heat is either on at the level of Hades-lite, or is non-existent, and much ado is made about one or the other. Someone is discussing their weekend plans, and there are customers coming to and fro…doing their business and personal transactions. All is typical of any given Monday.

The faces of those who greet us are not radiant or calm. They are the faces of people stretched way too thin but resigned to be here for the next eight hours. Faces showing the sum total of choices made over a lifetime or those with some vestiges of youthful exuberance still remaining. Occasionally, someone comes in wearing a big smile and without a care in the world. I find that them refreshing, but note that they are usually retired and in good health

If only it was possible to reclaim the passion about work…about life…about anything! The closest substitute seems to be the familiar jolt of caffeine…if one is fortunate enough to get to the coffeepot prior to the office hog that tends to swill down the majority of the pot without the inner voice reminding him to make another pot…EVER.

Or perhaps the passion is in the joy of watching sports teams perform well…even if the players are the age of one’s children. Maybe it is the thrill of seeing the face of a new baby, or the elation of a father when his son’s pinewood derby car wins…providing yet another trophy that will one day provide a “stay or go” dilemma as most trophies eventually tend to do.

There are those who woke up to the familiar heartbreak of a relationship gone sour or anger at a body that allowed sickness to invade. Perhaps it was the incessant quiet of someone whose presence is no longer there physically but is still strongly there in spirit. Maybe it is the constant nagging voice of responsibility…of bills arriving…or the deafening thud of pushing off those bucket list items into a “someday” file that eventually is transferred to “impossible dreams” in permanent storage.

Maybe the stress is from looking into the bathroom mirror and realizing that the time in the sun has left its mark as surely as it kissed our skin in our younger years when we didn’t care about things like skin cancer or wrinkles. Or maybe it is just the knowledge that we now possess that every day holds little promise for something spectacular to happen…especially when we are on alert waiting for the other shoe to drop…as it almost inevitably does.

Oh, there are good days. There are days when we get to attend a concert, or hear news that makes us smile, or our bodies surprise us with a burst of energy. Days where we get on the scale and register a weight loss, someone blesses us unexpectedly, or we spend time with someone who makes us smile. But most days, we accept that many of our dreams are fulfilled and that the brass rings that we have been quietly expecting to come around again simply won’t be. Occasionally, we even see the evidence that they were actually captured by someone who had less to lose than we did at the time, or were more decisive than we might have been. These are the promotions that we won’t receive, and the understanding that to some degree…we swim in a sea of obscurity. Sadly, sometimes that realization stings.

They say that with age comes wisdom. I don’t know if it is as much age…as experience. We are more accustomed to seeing the reality of situations instead of the way we did through the rose colored glasses of our youth. The trappings of life no longer impress us as much as they once did as we’re starting to downsize. We realize that big houses have hefty mortgages, need to be cleaned, and are expensive to maintain. When our children leave, the house becomes deathly quiet, except for the gentle (or sometimes not so gentle) snoring of our husbands on the couch, or our dog chasing a tennis ball through the family room. We understand that “new car smell” wears off in a relatively short period of time and that some idiot running a red light can depreciate our vehicles in the blink of an eye. We also know that our children will grow up and occasionally make choices that we do not like…or will be hurt in ways that we cannot repair by people who sometimes think they are doing the right thing. We also know that our canine and feline friends are only with us for a season, and often break our hearts at their passing.

My prayer request is that the mantle of responsibility be lifted for a few brief moments for all of us every day. That the right decisions we somehow made in spite of ourselves will bring us indescribable joy. May we celebrate the fact that we were sometimes snatched back from the brink of some life altering bad choices because we heard someone’s voice in our head telling us to back away…and we actually listened. May the sicknesses and weaknesses that tend to invade our physical bodies be held at bay and not allowed to roam free. May we forgive ourselves for falling short of our expectations and of God’s best for our lives because of our stubbornness, ignorance, laziness, or fear.

May our relationships be strengthened and may we from time to time see a glimpse of what our existence has meant to at least one other human being. May we have a period of every day when time feels suspended and we are actually able to live in the moment…without worry of what we should be doing or about the troubles of tomorrow. May our hearts find communion with God so that He can hold us in His hands for just a few moments of true peace and quiet and whisper to us that we are loved and are significant in His eyes.

I pray that God will also help us remember that we are all interconnected. That people who have harmed us - or hurt those we love – are supposed to be forgiven and forgotten. May we drop our need to control outcomes, the hands of time, and the hearts and actions of other people. May we love the people who enter our homes without reservation…even if they never look back after they leave...and we find that it causes us pain. Allow us to give ourselves a break for failures in appreciation for those who sacrificed for us. Let us assume that they knew that we loved them, and they were valued by other people in our stead.

But most importantly…may we find the driving passions that once defined us simmering somewhere just below the surface waiting to come back to life in new and positive ways. May Mondays be a day of possibilities instead of resignation to more of the same. Allow us to shed those responsibilities that we should be passing on to others and let us discover the gifts and talents in us that lie dormant. May the reawakening of these dreams, passions, gifts, and talents infuse our pastel days with vibrant hues reflecting deep meaning and godly purpose.


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