I thought that someone was having trouble with their smoke detectors — in fact, I thought it was my house. I was outside last weekend (because it was so gorgeous in my neck of the words) and I kept hearing a beep-beep-beep and then it would stop. Then like a minute later, start up again; then 2 minutes later, same thing.
About six or seven times this happened. Then Amazon delivery van pulled into my driveway, delivered my package, backed out: beep-beep-beep. That is what I had been hearing! The Amazon guy going up and down driveways around my house delivering packages!
Which got me to thinking about how fast we can get things these days. Almost anything we want arrives on our doorstep in 3-5 business days — or sooner if you have Prime! Need a new tablet — beep-beep-beep. How about a water filter for your fridge? Beep-beep-beep. Clogged toilet? No worries! Amazon can have a plunger there by tomorrow! Beep-beep-beep.
Instant. Immediate. Virtually no waiting.
But as for me, my prayer is to you, O Lord.Psalm 69:13
At an acceptable time, O God,
in the abundance of your steadfast love, answer me.
In this world we live in, there is a real danger of thinking that God is nothing more than a cosmic Amazon guy. That prayer is simply putting in your order and waiting — and not long mind you — for the fruit of your prayer.
Talk to most people of faith and we will tell you that this is just not so — prayer and God do not work this way. But deep down, we are still impatient when it doesn’t. When we don’t get what we want (even if it is world peace), when it doesn’t come when we want (even if it is better to get grace now).
I can hear you saying this: “So, if prayer is not Amazon where I can get everything and God is not the Amazon guy who is going to get it to me immediately, what is prayer?” Totally valid question.
Since I am writing this on Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent, I am thinking that I will take the Thursdays in Lent to write about what I think prayer is. I think I am nuts even as I say I am going to do this. What makes me think that I know anything about prayer? Tell you what: if you have an idea about prayer, reply to this blog below with your thoughts! Yes, I would love your THoughts for my THursdays!.