22 January 2010

Faith, Prayer and Drudgery

It has not been a particularly good week. In fact, I've taken to calling it my "FAILcation."

Every day this week has involved someone being home from day care, whether due to illness, holiday or some other conflict. The van was in the shop from Monday until Wednesday. As you've all noticed, the ice has made walking, the most mundane of daily activities, a task which requires hypervigilance. I've been able to work about a grand total of 12 hours this week, and right now I'm so frustrated I could just scream. (I won't, because the other folks working and studying here at Cafe Milo probably wouldn't appreciate being startled like that.)

The thing is, there's not much you can do about weeks like this. Kids get sick. Vans with 100K miles break down. The ice falls on the just and the unjust alike. Seems I've heard that somewhere before (psst: Matthew 5.43-45).

It's not fatalism to acknowledge that life will be life. If you think so, take a swing through the book of Ecclesiastes and see what the Teacher thinks about life. What I'm concerned with is this: is faith about getting out of unpleasant circumstances, or being able to live right in the midst of them?

See, here's the thing: faith is not about avoiding drudgery. It's certainly not a lot of fun to face the week Kristin and I have had, but praying for an escape from that feels more like praying to Santa Claus than to God. Faith and prayer are not about wish fulfillment; at least, not the kind of wish fulfillment that means running away from that which God has entrusted to us. Prayer is conversation with God about our lives, and faith is the power God gives to believe that the conversation is actually happening.

So I tell God, "Hey, it hasn't been an easy week."

"Yep. How are you holding up?"

"Not so great today. I'm frustrated, disappointed in myself, anxious about a lot of things and feeling like I'd rather just curl up in the basement and hide until spring."

"You know I can't let you do that, right? And that's not what you REALLY want anyway, is it?"

"I suppose not. It's just that I feel like the weather today: grey, icy, cold. I'm not sure I'm going to be a lot of good to anyone today."

"You might be surprised. Anyway, it's not about what you can do - it's about what I can do through you. I'll make sure what needs to happen, happens. You just trust in me and get back into the game. All right?"

"All right - but I'm telling you, what you get from me today might not be pretty."

"Like that's ever bothered me before?"

Faith, prayer and drudgery. As long as you have the first two, the last will never win.

Grace & peace



  1. Thank you for this...It has been a hard week here too - full of illness, ice and mess. I needed the reminder that it isn't the important stuff - so consider God working through you accomplished, at least for one person today!