I was just telling Marc how GREAT (great great!) I’ve been doing with not saying out loud every thought that comes through my mind. This return to the blog is about to ruin that streak. There goes my trophy.
This time of year. What’s in the air? The world is about ten times busier than usual and I feel like I’m keeping most greeting card companies in business. There’s a lot to celebrate between start of summer wedding, graduations, moms’ and dads’ days. But I have had at least ten people in the last month ask for me to pray for them through some very challenging situations. Turns out the pools of joy and sorrow are not totally separated from one another, I guess.
For those who have asked me to enter into these harder times- I think of it as some kind of spiritual HOV lane we get to enter because we’re sharing a car but this metaphor may not fully hold up…- I want to give you an honest look at how I join you here so that if these things don’t turn out the way you had hoped you know who to blame and who NOT to invite in on the next go round…
1) I do actually pray. I sit and light a candle and do all the researched-backed techniques that get the message to God. I say “I know you’re here with us in this, what looks like a real mess.” And because so much of my own anger and saddness boils down to feeling alone, I try to repeat this little prayer as often as I can remember it.
2) Then I move into the action part of the plan, which involves stress baking and eating in solidarity with those in pain. This is a key component of the spiritual practice.
3) At some point, (usually between the praying and finishing half a bag of chocolate chips. Maybe a whole bag. Depends on the severity of the issue.) I reach a place where everything feels hopeless and I’m convinced we’re not going to get through it because I haven’t come up with a fool proof solution or a sign from God within an hour of being invited into the situation. One might say, “we haven’t yet found our exit from this HOV lane.”
4) The only right move at this stage in the game is to take a nap, or as I like to call it “keeping a meditative vigil.” This also helps to keep the stress banana bread at bay.
5) Lastly, and this isn’t consistent, but I go into a ritual purification process and clean my entire house. Maybe purification isn’t the right word. What would you call something done to try and assert control over a situation that is completely OUT of your hands and has the secondary benefit of justifying your later “I DO EVERYTHING AROUND HERE!!” comment, said in a chocolate chip cookie/stress induced rant?? Displacement? Sublimation? Awful?
And there’s the oven timer.
With you in prayer,