Monday, January 26, 2009

God, are you there?

-Why do we close our eyes when we pray?

It isn’t prescribed in the Bible, the Torah or any other religious text I can find. How many times did you get swatted as a kid because you didn’t close your eyes during the blessing? And how did your mom know you didn’t have your eyes closed?

I think God just wants to talk to us. I am quite sure he can hear us with our eyes open or shut. Head up or bowed. Standing, sitting, kneeling, walking, driving or flying. I especially hope it works when you’re flying. How else can you explain a 255,000 pound machine lifting off the ground?

-If one of your new year’s resolutions was to resolve whether you believe in God or not, I highly recommend reading two books. god is not Great by Christopher Hitchins and Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis. By the time you finish both, you will be in one camp or the other.

-Kids get it. Perhaps you’ve heard the story by author John Drescher about the frightened little boy who lay in his shadowy bedroom one night, trembling in terror as a thunderstorm raged just outside.

“Daddy,” he called out, please come here—I’m scared!”

“Son,” his father answered, “It’s OK—God loves you, and He’ll take care of you.”

“Yes, I know God loves me,” the boy replied. “But right now I need somebody with skin on `em.”

-Why is it people get so worked up about prayer before football games? I think it is a fine idea, especially if you are smallish and slow-footed. But why just football? Ever heard of people getting frothy about prayer before a swim meet? Or a tennis match? Or, heaven forbid, a debate tournament?

One of my favorite ironies is hearing someone deliver the pre-football game prayer and asking for “our team” to win. I’ve heard it. Over the PA system. (I heard it. Don’t think God did.)

Better yet, parents praying beneath the stands during the fourth quarter of a playoff football game for “our boys to win”. Lord, forgive them, for they know not what they do.

-Why do we scare our children with “Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep. If I should die before I wake, I pray thee Lord my soul to take.” No wonder they won’t go to sleep. No wonder they keep asking for a glass of water.

-The Catholic Church (the one with capital letters), has the best real estate strategy of any organization in the world. Their churches are almost always on the best real estate: in the center of town, on the highest hill, on an island in the middle of a lake (Google up the church at Lake Bled in Slovenia. Wow.)

-If you haven’t already, go visit a Black church. African Americans have more fun at church than a sack of confused weasels. They worship openly and joyfully. They sing wonderfully. They MOVE to the music. (Try that next time your congregation breaks it down to “Great is Thy Faithfulness” or Yismechu).

-What is someone that is agnostic, dyslexic and an insomniac?

Someone who lies awake at night wondering if there is a Dog.

1 comment:

  1. This summer Danielle and I went to Bled and stood and marveled at the church in the middle of the lake (on the only island in Slovenia, right?). We figured we'd bond with Pete, so we went to Slovenia.