My thoughts won’t get me anywhere.
Actions take me where I want to go or where I need to be.
I am too logical to believe that praying will get me what I want. If it did, the world would either be extremely chaotic or dangerously competitive as everyone would be praying for and expecting to get what they want. If everyone’s wishes were granted, life would be mass confusion.
This doesn’t mean I don’t need to believe in God or in the power of prayer. In fact, the exact opposite is true.
I believe in God because I know that I am an incredibly imperfect person who doesn’t have the strength to do what is right without a greater power compelling me to consider how my words and actions affect others.
When I ignore that voice, I immediately feel regret.
And so, I am motivated to do my best to make the world a better place for others.
I believe in God because I witness miracles on a daily basis.
And so, I am compelled to stop worrying about my insignificant concerns and enjoy what is significant, important and beyond my control.
I believe in God not because I expect the world to be perfect or for only good things to happen to good people.
Life isn’t intended to be a joy ride. It is intended to be a lesson that begins at birth and ends at death. Like any lesson, sometimes it is fun and entertaining and sometimes it is exceedingly difficult.
I believe in God because there is not other explanation for why I pray when I am feeling lonely or scared or irritated.
Even though circumstances don’t always change when I pray, my strengths does. Instead of feeling hopeless or alone, I feel loved and embraced.
And so, I continue to pray to do the right thing, or say the right thing or write the right thing.
Because believing in something doesn’t mean I expect my life should be perfect.
It doesn’t even mean I expect to always win or succeed during those tough times.
But it does mean I grow and learn and become a better person who can help others learn and grow and become better people too.
Those of us who are parents often repeat that mantra. At the same time, we have our own questions.
I’m blessed that my own mother provided amazing guidance.
She’s never been a particularly religious person, but she has always been spiritual. As a child, when I was struggling with not getting something I thought I deserved, she provided a great piece of advice.
“Don’t ever pray for what you want. Pray that God gives you the strength to deal with what life hands you and the ability to use that strength to make the best of the situation.”
Decades later, the wisdom of those words resonates in so many aspects of my life.
And that always makes me smile.
Day 97: Good Advice
Day 96: Red and white peppermint candy Day 95: The Soundtrack from the Movie Shrek Day 94: Accepting Change Day 93: True Love Day 92: Camera Phones Day 91: Bicycle Brakes Day 90: Heroes Day 89: The Cricket in Times Square Day 88: The Grand Canyon Day 87: Unanswered Prayers Day 86: Apples Fresh from the Orchard Day 85: Being Human Day 84: Captain Underpants Day 83: The Diary of Anne Frank Day 82: In Cold Blood Day 81: Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry Day 80: The Outsiders Day 79: I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings Day 78: The First Amendment Day 77: People Who Touch Our Lives Day 76: The Rewards of Parenting Day 75: Improvements Day 74: Family Traditions Day 73: Learning From Our Mistakes Day 72: Live Music Day 71: Sleeping In Day 70: Grover Day 69: A Good Hair Day Day 68: A Sense of Community Day 67: Kindness Day 66: Living in a Place You Love Day 65: Gifts from the Heart Day 64: The Arrival of Fall Day 63: To Kill a Mockingbird Day 62: Green Lights Day 61: My Canine Friends Day 60: Differences Day 59: A New Box of Crayons Day 58: Bookworms Day 57: Being Oblivious Day 56: Three-day Weekends Day 55: A Cat Purring Day 54: Being a Unique Individual Day 53: Children’s Artwork Day 52: Lefties Day 51: The Neighborhood Deer Day 50: Campfires Day 49: Childhood Crushes Day 48: The Words “Miss You” Day 47: Birthday Stories Day 46: Nature’s Hold on Us Day 45: Play-Doh Day 44: First Day of School Pictures Day 43: Calvin and Hobbes Day 42: Appreciative Readers Day 41: Marilyn Monroe’s Best Quote Day 40: Being Silly Day 39: Being Happy Exactly Where You Are Day 38: Proud Grandparents Day 37: Chocolate Chip Cookies Day 36: Challenging Experiences that Make Great Stories Day 35: You Can’t Always Get What You Want Day 34: Accepting the Fog Day 33: I See the Moon Day 32: The Stonehenge Scene from This is Spinal Tap Day 31: Perspective Day 30: Unlikely Friendships Day 29: Good Samaritans Day 28: Am I a Man or Am I a Muppet? Day 27: Shadows Day 26: Bike Riding on Country Roads Day 25: When Harry Met Sally Day 24: Hibiscus Day 23: The Ice Cream Truck Day 22: The Wonderful World of Disney Day 21: Puppy love Day 20 Personal Theme Songs Day 19: Summer Clouds Day 18: Bartholomew Cubbin’s Victory Day 17: A Royal Birth Day 16: Creative Kids Day 15: The Scent of Honeysuckle Day 14: Clip of Kevin Kline Exploring His Masculinity Day 13: Random Text Messages from My Daughter Day 12: Round Bales of Hay Day 11: Water Fountains for Dogs Day 10: The Rainier Beer Motorcycle Commercial Day 9: Four-Leaf Clovers Day 8: Great Teachers We Still Remember Day 7: Finding the missing sock Day 6: Children’s books that teach life-long lessons Day 5: The Perfect Photo at the Perfect Moment Day 4: Jumping in Puddles Day 3: The Ride Downhill after the Struggle Uphill Day 2: Old Photographs Day 1: The Martians on Sesame Street