AS a generation characterized by commercialism and materialism we are often confused in determining what we need from what we want . The illusions of Peso, Power and Pleasure seem to cloud our judgments in life. Discerning the will of God in prayer becomes a turmoil in our day-to-day lives. And blaming God for our seemingly “countless” misfortunes takes us down the path of despair. But man’s discernment of life can never equal God’s wisdom and plan for mankind.
A Hasidic parable concerns a hungry boy traveling with his father through a dense forest. Suddenly the boy spots a patch of ripe berries and begins picking them and eating them. When the hour grows dangerously late, the boy can’t bring himself to leave the patch. What could the father do? He loved the boy in spite of his childish behavior. The father says, “I will start out; you may stay a few minutes longer. But to make sure we don’t get separated, keep calling, ‘Father! Father!’ I will answer you. But as soon as my voice begins to fade, come running.” Hasidic masters used this parable to teach the need to keep united to God through prayer.
How many of us would pray to God only if we need something? How many of us would approach Him only in our helplessness? How many of us do not feel the need to pray to God? How many of us would go on with our lives unmindful that He is always watching over us? The mere fact that we exist is already a reason for us to pray. That God is always watching over us is already an inspiration for us to pray. That we are able to eat, drink, sleep or even just breathe is a motivation for us to pray and give thanks to him. In spite of our unworthiness because of our sins, we were still blessed. But how much of our prayers are focused on ourselves?
Allow me to share with you a poem and may its contents shed a little light to our ongoing judgment of God’s will in authentic prayer:
I asked for some money to survive for a day … But God gave me a Job so that I could make a living and survive every day.
I asked for enlightenment to the questions I hold … But God gave me an Education so that I could know on my own.
I asked for Faith … But God gave me a religion so that I could know him even more.
I asked for deliverance from Evil and Sin … But God gave me vulnerability and free will so that I may unconditionally choose to love him.
I asked for quick solutions and the easy way out … But God gave me more problems so that I may feel the need of His presence.
I asked for an All-knowing Mind … But God gave me life’s mystery so that I may learn through discovery.
I asked for happiness … But God gave me sorrow so that I may know the difference.
I asked for superhero like strength … But God gave me health so that I could choose to be physically fit instead.
I asked for power … But God gave me limitations so that I could learn that He is In-Charge.
I asked for liberation from crisis and oblivion … But God gave me trials so that I could always think of Him.
I asked for peace of mind … But God gave me tribulations so that I could endure his lasting peace.
I asked for a life free of suffering … But God gave me Christ on the Cross so that I could see how love and sacrifice can make life truly meaningful.
I asked for great leaders … But God gave me suffrage so that I could elect them on my own.
I asked for an upright life … But God gave me a conscience so that I could value the essence of freewill.
I asked for unwavering patriotism … But God gave me the prospect of migration so that I could really cherish my motherland.
And in the end, I asked for almost EVERYTHING … But God gave me just the things I NEEDED so that I could truly be HAPPY!
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