Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Your best Friend

I've talked before about memorizing passages. I really like this little reminder I found on the Calvary Missions site:

What About Memorized Prayers?

There may be a place for memorized prayers, such as the "Lord's Prayer," a child's bedtime prayer, a child's mealtime prayer or something that you have found that expresses what is really in your heart. However, would your intelligence be insulted if your closest friends or relatives only talked to you in memorized speeches? How about an all-intelligent God who wants a personal relationship with his people? He wants us to talk to him out of our heart and out of our intellect.

I think that's a really good point! I tried to imagine my best friend calling me up and rather than updating me on her life or asking about mine, she just rattled off something she'd told me a million times before. Verbatim. What would happen to the friendship after a time? Wouldn't really go anywhere.

And God, Spirit, Love is our best friend. Do we trust Him enough to share our deepest hopes, our secret longings? Here's a well-known passage from Mary Baker Eddy (which I happen to have memorized!):

Desire is prayer; and no loss can occur from trusting God with our desires, that they may be moulded and exalted before they take form in words and in deeds.

--Science and Health

Friendship is based on trust. To think of the Divine as a friend, then, there has to be a measure of trust there. Thinking of God as a evaluator or judge may make this difficult; thinking of Him as infinite, all-powerful Love who is entirely on your side and has got your back might make it easier. Thinking of Him as a Her might also sometimes help—not only as the Mother who comforts, but as the BFF (best friend forever) who is always there for you to listen and stand up.

So, once you've bonded with this Friend, it would be natural to bring your very life to the conversation. There's nothing you wouldn't tell this Friend. You've got no worry whether you'll be accepted, this Friend always loves you and backs you up. Not against other people, but against any evil that lurks around the edges of your life. And this Friend will fight to save you.

So tell Him/Her what's on your mind today. Just free form, no formula, no memorized phrases. Let Him/Her know what you really think, and see what He/She says back.


Your ideas and inspiration are welcome! Please comment below or Contact Laura.
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3 Comments:

At 1/10/2007 10:02:00 AM, Anonymous Emily said...

I like this post, Laura.

I have friends who steadfastly refuse to send me real e-mail messages, opting instead to send me one forward after another, each with a cutesy story, a few platitudes about friendship, and a manipulative note at the bottom accusing me of being "too busy for my friends" if I don't forward the message to everybody in my address book.

Some of these folks act quite hurt when they don't hear from me for a long time: "How come I never hear from you any more?"

My reply is always the same: "Because I haven't heard from you." Frankly, I don't think they would want to hear what I have to say about some of these forwards. What am I supposed to think when, for instance, a person who knows perfectly well that I am a Christian Scientist insists upon forwarding me some aggressive mental suggestion about breast cancer?

Surely she can't believe that such notes count as "communication" when it's obvious she paid no attention to the content of the note or its appropriateness to the recipient.

Of course forwards have their place. Every now and then, I'll run across something funny or sweet that makes me think of someone I know, and I'll send it along. But even then, I try to copy and paste the message into the body of an e-mail, take off the obnoxious note at the bottom demanding the recipient forward it to everybody in his address book, and top it with a personal note about why I am sending it so the person will know that I am sending it just to him, and I am sending it because I read it and thought he would enjoy it -- not because I am trying to avoid the supposedly dire consequences of breaking a chain letter or whatever.

I think reciting prayer -- "vain repetition," Jesus called it -- is like forwarding an e-mail: If you want it to mean anything to the recipient, you had better take the time to understand it yourself, your heart had better be in it, and you had better do a little more than simply send it on without even bothering to remove the old headers.

I pray the Daily Prayer every morning, as Mrs. Eddy asks the members of her church to do -- but I try my best to make sure I'm thinking about it, expanding on each piece of it in my thought and finding new meaning in its words, instead of thoughtlessly clicking "forward" and considering that a sufficient substitute for real communication with God.

 
At 1/10/2007 09:27:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My boss' husband is out of work right now and diligently going to interviews and sending out resumes and doing all the other things one does when one hopes to find a position. My boss, for her part, is praying and trying to maintain a positive attitude about the situation. She told me, though, that she feels almost embarassed to be asking God for help all the time. I told her that her husband will find the job he's supposed to have, at the time he's supposed to have it, if it doesn't find him first. I also told her to try a different tack with her prayer tomorrow morning. Instead of asking God to do something for her, try asking what He wants her to do for Him, and ask for the wisdom to recognize it when He sends her the answer. She was somewhat shocked by the idea, but she liked it.

 
At 1/10/2007 10:41:00 PM, Blogger Miki said...

Thank you both, Laura and Emily, for an inspiring post. I SO relate to what Emily says about the "forwards"!!

I love memorizing hymns (I also think of them as prayers) because I often find they jog me into right thinking and from there hopefully into right action!

I awoke one morning reciting a favourite hymn from the Christian Science hymnal: "What is thy birthright, man, Child of the perfect One?" (382) I felt this was an answer to recent prayers concerning a family member being challenged with aging, frailty and dementia. My siblings and I are taking turns at caring for her.

At one of our family "conferences" recently I shared another favourite: "In heavenly Love abiding" (148). The beautiful words of this hymn lifted our thoughts above the effects of a gloomy medical prognosis we had heard earlier in the day. The last verse goes:

Green pastures are before me,
Which yet I have not seen;
Bright skies will soon be o'er me,
Where darkest clouds have been.
My hope I cannot measure,
My path in life is free;
My Father has my treasure,
And He will walk with me.

Some members shared their fears and feelings - others asked forgiveness for harsh judgments, misunderstandings, etc. It was a great evening filled with divine Love's presence! One of our nieces wrote the hymn out in full, and it is now on the fridge door for all to read. Harmony and joy continue to mark our family dealings with one another as we pray through this situation. How awesome to know that God hears our prayers - and answers before we call!

 

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