Whether you’re actually spiritual or not, Monday was a day when you couldn’t help but reach out to a hoped-for higher power – a day when it seemed that hope was all that was left for everyone.
I’m gonna’ admit to you that Monday was one of the most troubling days of my life.
And I’m gonna’ guess, that given the events in Las Vegas, remembering Sandy Hook and other senseless mass shootings that have taken place in our contemporary America…it was one of your worst, as well.
You cannot explain what happened. You cannot explain ‘why’ it happened. Worse, we can’t have any guarantee that it won’t happen again. So you sit, you think, and you obsess on what’s next. And could it possibly be more horrific?
I’m sure there will be hundreds of incidents of psychological counseling available today in communities, churches, and schools across this country. People trying to help other people come to grips with what happened in Vegas; and people offering whatever hope they can that somehow, and in some way, there’s still a little normalcy left in life.
These are textbook trained professionals in most cases, and they’re well-meaning. I have no doubt. They may offer some answers and some relief. They may not.
But in a day when faith and spirituality seems under constant siege – when we’re told that it’s absolutely necessary that there be a separation between church and state – I’m hear to tell you that beyond the hundreds of professionals trying to talk people through this dark hour, there’ll be another, simpler way. Yesterday, today, and all this week and beyond, there’ll be a lot of people – millions of them – who simply drop to their knees, or close their eyes…and pray.
Some will do it out of habit, because they already do it as part of their daily routine.
While to others, it will come as an act of last resort. When all else fails, whether you’re a believer or not, it’s funny how people suddenly resort to asking for help…even from that ‘Being’ or source that they’ve never known previously.
They used to say that there’s no atheists in a fox hole, meaning men under fire during times of war, when just like Vegas, you’re suddenly willing to reach out for something Divine, whether you believe in Divinity or not. You do it just in case!
And honestly, even if you don’t believe, in cases like Monday…what better alternative do you have?
Prayer is a daily habit of mine, having grown up around people who believe in it, practice it, and who find relief from a relationship that’s the gift of a spirit unseen. Monday, while driving, working, writing, or just closing my eyes for a moment of rest…I found myself in prayer.
For the victims of Vegas…..
For a friend and colleague undergoing a medical procedure….
For a family member suffering through pain and anxiety….
And, for our country, which at their very moment is suffering internally as it’s never suffered before.
If you ask me to explain it – if you ask me to share the personal benefits to me – I have no answer other than to tell you that Scripture says that Divine ways are not our ways. That things Divine happen in their own time. I grew up with the understanding that prayer is not to be selfish, but rather…God’s will be done.
And we’re all prone to say, regardless of upbringing, that we believe that we’re here for a purpose – even those who don’t believe in the existence, or efficacy, of a higher power. And knowing that, what better expectation is there, then, than the simple act of another sunrise. Purpose is as easy to understand as another day.
I’ve had others tell me for years that they don’t pray because they don’t know how, or they don’t know what to pray for. But almost everyone believes that there’s such a thing as a “hope”, and Scripture teaches that. So what better thing is there with which to start?
Hope for a better day.
Hope for healing.
And hope for the patience of habit – that when you need it you remember. Sometimes all you can do on a day like Monday…is to close your eyes and pray.