Joe Doe is not much for church, but he wants to tell you why he prays.
TASK #8: On a Wing and a Prayer
Under certain circumstances, profanity provides a relief denied even to prayer. Mark Twain
I tend to believe that all religions are good: Despite the pomp and theatrics, despite the fervor and misguided fanaticism, and despite the radical fringes of organized religions. And I believe that at least their intentions are good, and that most people who practice a religion are well meant. (Exceptions, those who proselytize, like Marco Rubio or Rick Santorum, who are so Catholic they make the Pope look like a Lutheran).
And I believe that the core tenets of all the world’s major religions teach and encourage simple, common sense values. Islam, Catholicism, Hinduism, Judaism, Buddhism and so on, promote values like honesty, fair play, and do-unto-others. And it seems like most of them, at least the Christian religions, lay out pretty simple rules to follow, like “thou shalt not kill” and “thou shalt not covet they neighbor’s wife“, which is a good one to remember if your next door neighbor’s wife likes to parade around in a thong.
But I digress. The point is: there is something inherently good in believing in a higher power. In a world of constantly shifting sand, it’s good to have moral ground to stand on.
At the same time I have to confess that I’m not much for church. I’d rather sit out in the sun and watch the world pass me by. And sometimes, when my mind slips from the shackles of my everyday worries, I think about my friends and my family, or those random people from my distant past, and I’ll find myself hoping, in my heart of hearts, that good fortune finds them.
I call that praying.
It’s not reciting words from a missal, or reading words that you’ve memorized from a book, nor is it begging: i.e. for the Buckeyes to beat Michigan, or that the next symbol on the slot machine is a bell, and it’s not asking for mercy after you’ve f–ed up, which is a plea, not a prayer.
Praying is asking for good fortune for someone else. Someone who may need some good fortune in their life.
This week you are going to open your notebook and write a prayer. You don’t have to invoke any particular deity, it doesn’t have to rhyme or be recited with your hands folded; it simply has to ask God for something good to happen to someone you know who deserves to have something good happen to them.
I recently asked for good fortune to befall a certain man, his name is Dave, who is the most selfless individual I have ever met.
Now it’s your turn.
If you have a comment, feel free to write me at [email protected]
Photo by Mahender G