Sunday, July 31, 2016

258 candles-days 153-155

This morning's church service focused on prayer, and specifically the so-called "Serenity Prayer" of Reinhold Neibuhr. I have never been entirely comfortable with the act of prayer, or should I say the way by which most people pray. I've sermonized before about the contentious relationship Unitarian Universalists have with prayer, and I've even tried my hand at writing them. Sometimes I'm asked to come up with a spontaneous prayer and I'm especially uncomfortable with those, because I try to fulfill what my requester assumes is prayer, while simultaneously staying true to my own concept of God.

If, like me, you believe that what we call God is the reality through which we move, like fish through water, only being aware of it when we're without it, then to suggest God is somehow separate from us and needs to be addressed like any other stranger is absurd. As the medium through which we move and are, God is aware (if not the originator) of everything we say, do, think, conceptualize, swear, spit, shit, hit, breathe, fuck, feel, sweat, hear--any word you care to add there. As a result, what is the point of setting off by time or space or formality a measure of words whose creation, from initial thought to final draft, God has already been a part of? Is it only to sound learned to other people? Well, maybe. Maybe it's like some of us believe, we don't know what we think until we hear ourselves say it.

Nonetheless. I want to try my hand at it again, this time in relation to what this project is meant to be about:

Spirit of Life, I know what I want.
I want love to transform us into the people we imagine ourselves
In our best moments to be. I want
The angels of our better natures to take possession of our tongues,
Our hands, our hearts, to make us in their image. I want
Life to be the best for everyone, male, female, child,
Animal, plant, amoeba, stone and ice. I know
In my heart of hearts that will not happen.

We can't let it happen. It would take too much
(Pick your word:) Pride, freedom, independence, free will
From us. If there is one thing truly human about us,
It's the ability to see what it is we need to do
And resolutely rationalize our not doing it. But,
For one moment, can we see that we are not
What we are in our best moments? Can we
Recognize whatever our best is, we aren't there? Can we
Profess that where we want to be is a long way away
And we have to fight, not one another, but the current
We have clung to, to reach it? Can we
Hope one day to know where it is we want to go?

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