Thursday, March 01, 2012

Thursday, the Ninth Day of Lent

Today's Gospel beings with the line

Ask and it will be given to you; 
seek and you wil find; 
knock and the door will be opened to you.

I don't know about you, but I find these words to be extraordinarily irritating.

It is my custom to try to be a good guest. I don't like putting my host out of his or her way, so I'm not overly picky when offered a drink, a dinner choice, or the selection of a movie. Even when I have strong tastes or desires, I find myself often saying, "I'm totally indifferent - I'll eat/drink/watch anything." Why am I so reluctant? Is it because I'm ashamed of my desires? Is it because I don't want to impose, even though my host clearly is clearly extending hospitality? Is it because I'm failing to trust the graciousness of the one who has invited me? 

I'm irritated by today's Gospel because it challenges me to be more forthright in prayer. How often do I pray for silly things, safe things, rather than telling the Lord what I really want? Is it because I'm afraid that, if I'm really open and transparent with my desires and my prayers aren't answered, that I'll be angry or disappointed? Is it because I don't trust enough in God's grace that I cling to my own little wants and desires and resist offering them up in prayer? 

Perhaps today I can take a few minutes to really pray, to really be up-front with what it is that I want. This is the great risk of prayer: when I offer what I really and truly want, when I honestly present my heart's desires, I risk the possibility of rejection. My sinful side clamors, "Keep it in! Keep it in! Better silent and not disappointed!!" while my heart encourages, "Pray, you idiot, and perhaps what you think you want is far less than what you truly desire." This day, may it be my goal to pray my desire, to knock at the door and to make known what it is that I yearn for. While I may not get exactly what I think I want, I shall be confident that even if I don't get what I want, I can take comfort in knowing that God, the Host of Heaven, is extending to me more than I could ever even imagine: himself and his friendship. 

1 comment:

Cath said...

Hello Ryan,
maybe I'm the opposite from you here. If I really, truly want something then I pray for it. And I'm not indifferent if I really desire something.
Sometimes the desire becomes less and less and I eventually let go.
Sometimes, it changes into something else, and I pray for that instead.
Sometimes, I keep on praying until I get what I want/need (it's often a need in this case). Maximum time up to now was three years.
But never I've experienced rejection. It could be that has to do with my personal relationship with God, I read so much about unheard prayer and think that I couldn't bear what these people have to bear. It scares me. But I've never experienced rejection myself when praying for something I deeply desired.