Sunday, October 25, 2009

Losing of our prayers

Since I don’t shout-out to other blogs very often, I thought I’d post an excerpt from one of the blogs I read, in which a mother often writes about her precocious 5-year-old Calvin and his 3-year-old brother Hobbes. In a recent post she writes:
Calvin and I had a rough night tonight, and he was angry when he went to bed. I asked if he would like to pray and ask God to help him get rid of the anger. He prayed, "Dear God, please help the anger to stay inside of me."

Hobbes piped in, "Dear God, please help the anger to go out of Calvin."

Calvin countered, "Dear God, please don't listen to Hobbes. Make the anger stay inside of me. I want to be angry forever, so just don't listen to Hobbes."
Yes, little Calvin, the idea of healing is often offensive to crippled souls. I can’t count how many sermons I’ve heard from John 5 that suggest that Christ’s question to the lame man, “Do you want to be healed?” implies that we bar the doors for our own healing because we would rather be lame. The first step to healing, the standard formula goes, is wanting healing. For the Calvins out there, that prospect can be pretty bleak.

But I wonder... I wonder if, just as little Calvin’s prayers for God to preserve his anger in his spirit forever will hopefully not be answered, our stubbornness is not as detrimental to Grace as we might fear. If I would rather keep my bitterness and God would rather I lose it, maybe I’m fighting a losing battle. Maybe redemption, regardless of the ways I try alternatively to concoct or hinder it, is inevitable anyway.

Be still, my soul; redemption cannot be hurried or slowed. When you would recoil at the thought of healing, maybe it’s only a matter of time before reverse entropy takes you there anyway.

As a better writer once said:
We ignorant of ourselves,
Beg often our own harms, which the wise powers
Deny us for our good; so find we profit
By losing of our prayers.
-William Shakespeare

No comments: