I heard a minister tell a story one time about a conversation he had. He was upset about some dynamic in his life, I don’t remember exactly. The punchline of the story was the important part. A fellow minister looked at him and said, “you just have to accept that you’re never going to be anybody’s little boy”. It broke him, and he realized that somehwere in his head maybe that was precisely what he was looking for.
I used to believe in the type of Christianity that promised or at least believed in miracle healings. It was all about laying on of hands, speaking scripture, letting God work through you. I’ve been on both ends of this process. I’ve had people pray for me, and I’ve prayed for people in the street, in churches, in 100 scenarios.
Prayer as an exercise in empathy is fine. In my own way, I pray sometimes now. Usually as some type of metaphysical Marie Kondo. I pray to whatever is above me to let go of the things I can’t carry. But I don’t expect any help or intervention. I think thats best.
The brand of Christianity I grew up in made prayer sound like a super power. A way of moving heaven to change earth.
The worst part of this as a life style though is you are in a powerless position. And you are appealing to someone who has infinite power, but a very strange tax code of when they intervene, when they don’t, and how to get the result you seek.
Christians celebrate the concept of power not coming from the individual. And I understand that in pieces. AA talks about people powerless against something. Artists at their best moments feel as if someone is working through them.
But as a life skill, as a way of being, as a preset, I now reject this wholeheartedly.
We are all captives of this posture of waiting. It moves in everywhere like a draft in an old house. Off the top of my head I could probably name three situations in my life in which I am wanting someone to do the work that I am either unwilling or afraid to do. To that degree, I have given my power over and I am setting myself up for the most bitter and long term failure.
You have to do something. You have to be in charge. Doesn't matter your age, what was promised to you, the ways you have failed. We are our own calvary.
I beg you to examine your life and realize that you could have anything you want if you would stop looking at other people and start looking at your choices.
Every area in your life in which you stop looking to yourself for answers is a dead end. We need outside information, its a must have. But our actions are god. Our attitude is god. Our habits can save or damn us.