The Space Between If and Then

IF ____ happens, THEN ____ will happen.

Maybe.

But what IF ___ happens, THEN would ____happen?

Hard to tell.

I am guilty of this line of thought. Of over thinking, over analyzing, and of imaginary worries.

Guilty of made up scenarios that taint my perceptions and, often, my mood.

Guilty of planning a future that may never take place, or building an argument that didn’t actually occur.

It’s silly, really.

But it’s so real.

The desire to forecast our lives, and try to put into context where we are now to try to understand where we are going.

But what if there is a space between IF and THEN.

What if we could let ourselves believe that it’s not up to us to make these predictions.

What if we could truly believe that we are not in charge, and that there is something greater driving our lives.

What if there is a space between if and then?

IF there is a space between if and then, THEN maybe I could stop borrowing worries, and just trust that there is someone else who knows exactly what His plans are, and I am exactly where I am meant to be.

 

 

The Purpose of Prayer

I heard it once before, when my son was playing with another boy at a train table. My son, then two, grabbed a train from the other boy, who must have been about four. I immediately rushed over and talked to my son about how we don’t grab, the importance of sharing, and my son handed the train back. The older boy was so mad that he took the train and said, “I will pray for you.” After a quick glance to his mother I realized that this was ok with her…he had been taught to respond this way.

I have seen it more than I can bear on this day after the election, streaming in Facebook feeds and Twitter accounts. I have read so many posts about prayers for this country because now it’s in trouble, how we need to pray harder now than ever before, how now it’s all in God’s hands.

I am a huge believer in prayer. In faith. In believing in something bigger than ourselves.

But I am also a huge believer in kindness.

If prayer is an outreach of ourselves to something greater, than shouldn’t it be kind?

When we find those quiet moments to pray, or meditate, or practice our individual faiths, I believe it should be done in the name of love.

I don’t think it’s loving to use prayer as a consequence or as a condescending remark.

“I will pray for you” holds entirely different meanings when said in the name of love or in the name of hatred.

This election, as are so many other things in our lives, was emotional. It is my greatest hope that as we all reflect and process, whether we are in a state of joy or sadness, that we include prayers of kindness and tolerance for ourselves and others.

Because I believe in the power of prayer. But I also believe in its purpose of kindness.