Don’t tell me about how He calmed the storm or how He walked on water. He is God, that was easy enough. Tell me about how He snored in a boat tossed by the foaming billows. For too long I’ve gazed at the winds and the waves hoping to find their ears so that I too may still them when they toss my boat to and fro. I’ve wasted too much time inspecting Jesus’ larynx, hoping to find which frequencies He uses to calm angry waves and howling wind. Too much energy have I expended studying his feet so that I too might dance on water.
I’ve prayed stupid prayers:
“God make me happy,”
“God take away my country’s troubles,”
“God give me a perfect wife.”
My prayers were stupid, frivolous even because I prayed for the avoidance of pain. They were the selfish quibbling of a child who wants to eat and never wash dishes. My cowardly lips might as well have beseeched God to give the gold medal without the gruelling training that lies between the athlete and victory. Why not ask for wisdom’s scars without the wounds. Stupid selfish prayers I’ve prayed, and I repent. The absurdity of seeking to avoid the pain of my fellow human beings but lusting for a share of their spoils.
Perhaps I should have spent a little more time listening to Him snore in the storm. Perhaps instead of asking what sort of man commands the winds and strolls on waves, I should try to find out what kind of man has storms for a lullaby. He calms storms by power but He remains calm in the storm by His attitude, His faith (remember his question). In other words, I should snore in pain and calamity, not because I have a way out but because I trust God to make a way in the pain.
God isn’t in the habit of spoiling His children thus at times, he lets the storm rage on. It is of greater importance to calm the child in the storm. Attitude is more important than power. We are all frantic and fretting not because we lack power but because we have the wrong attitude. Power in the hands of bad attitude always leads to disaster. Our wrong attitude is evident in the multitude of our selfish desires disguised as prayers – “God give me this ‘good’ thing,” instead of, “God make me good.”
So I repent of my frivolous prayers and am determined to choose a better attitude (so help me God). I will choose smarter prayers:
“Dear God, may I channel your joy to those around me.”
“Dear God, grant me the strength to what’s right and be of service to my country, be it in trouble or not.”
“Dear God, may my good but imperfect wife have a good husband.”
“Dear God, may I hear lullabies in the wind.”