Hello Friends.I want to start off by saying that I love being a part of Blogville. The diversity of this community is a blessings. With that said I in no way wish to offend anyone with my thoughts today (or any day). It is just what I believe and what I know to be true and maybe these words will find a place in your heart. I am also placing some photos for your viewing pleasures to help you get through my longer than normal post. Feel free to just view the photos.
It is football season. And thus far I have seen the "Hail Mary" pass more than once. In my life time I have seen it many times. Earlier this week it got me to thinking about a life of faith, and a life of prayer.
A life lived in faith and prayer should not have to depend on the “EMT” of a “Hail Mary” prayer. A life of prayer should not be a series of 911 calls. A life of prayer and faith should be #1 on our spiritual “speed dial” — the place we punch into on our heart and soul every day, all the time, under all circumstances, whether bad or good.
Grandma had a heart attack — Spiritual Speedial. Got an “F” on the training class — 911, Please, God. My friends are such an overwhelming blessing-- Spiritual Speedial. There is no green papers in the account and it is the 15th — Hail Mary. The biopsy came back positive -- 911, my Lord and my God! Where is my family? Where are You? — Hail Mary.
Life is unpredictable. Stuffs happens — bad and good — all the time, every day. They say that life is unfair. That is why our faith connection cannot survive on “emergency” moments. Our prayer life needs to keep us connected every day in every way for every challenge and every joy.
That connection is the deciding difference between what James calls (James 3:13- 4:3, 7-8a) “earthly wisdom” and wisdom that comes “from above.” “Earthly wisdom” inspires apathy, envy, selfishness, and a get-ahead at-any-cost mentality. Earthly wisdom teaches that if you’re not first, you are last — and a loser.
But the wisdom James recommend is a “heavenly wisdom” — a look at life that is focused from an entirely different perspective: A heavenly perspective, a beautiful perspective.
A community of faith is not supposed to be yet another dog-fight for supremacy. A faithful community, a prayer filled soul, is called to be more like a sleeping puppy pile — where members trust and love one another enough to embrace one another completely.
The difference between “earthly” wisdom — which teaches us to fight for supremacy and to be “top dog”” - and “heavenly” wisdom that offers meekness, mercy, and peace (the “world’s “loser list”) as the highest form of commitment and love is the difference between a vicious dog fight and a peaceful puppy pile-up.
The transforming power of prayer — of a life connected and committed I think bewilders the world. It simply does not make any “sense” to those who are sensory bound to envy, power and self-advancement.
When we truly live a life of faith and prayer, prayer that is more than those "Hail Mary" moments, it is a miraculous moment of “justification.” Everything changes in life. Life becomes beautiful.
Yet, some of the same old stuff confronts us every day. A bad job. An unhappy family member. Lost toys. Illness and stress. Neglect. Not enough treats. A frightening lab report. It is all still here in the world.
To bathe in the presence of Christ everyday takes an everyday connection. Faith cannot exist on “Hail Mary” moments. We need to be in hourly, moment-to-moment prayer with the power that can transform our lives.
Earlier church tradition has called this daily growth “sanctification”. Today, maybe we should just call it “life support” — the divine power that makes it possible for us to feel grace and embody goodness and beauty every day, whatever comes our way.
Those are my thoughts. For this dog, faith and prayer are more than those "Hail Mary" moments. Prayer and faith are a part of my daily life. And because of it I am much stronger and more compassionate. I can face struggles with confidence. I can express joy with abandon. I can see beauty in just about anything.