Monday, February 21, 2011

Our Father Who Art in Heaven.....

Our Father who art in heaven hallowed by thy name,
Thy Kingdom done, thy will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day, our daily bread,
Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us,
Lead me not in to temptation and deliver us from evil,

We talked about the Lord’s Prayer last night at bible study; this is the version I learned as a kid and it’s my favorite! As a good little ex-catholic (why is it I’ve referenced that so much lately? Something about discussing prayer it seems…..) I knew this one by heart by the time I was 5 or 6. I would say it along with Mary’s Prayer for my rosary. I would rush through it, trying to finish before my older sister, or say all ten Our Fathers in one breath, I was such a devote child!

If you’ve never actually taken the time to pray this prayer you need to! If you’ve ever seen Anne of Green Gables (Movie reference, that’s for you Ryan!) I share her enthusiasm for the beauty of this prayer and share her picture of lying in a field and just feeling the prayer, it sounds a little out there, but well worth it!

The woman who wrote last night’s excerpt was a devote Jew during the world wars and devoted to the cause of helping persecuted Jews. She learned about Christ and was interested in becoming a Christian, but didn’t want to accept Jesus as her savior for fear of marring her cause.(?) I was left unclear as to whether she ever took the plunge or not, but then again it also took me some time to figure out the writer was a she!

Simone broke the prayer down by sections and wrote about what each one really meant, while some of what she said was good, we were left wondering if some of her more off the wall ideas weren’t steaming from her background as a devote Jew. We did discover that the way she felt about the name of God did come from her Jewish background, a fellow bible study attendee was/is taking a Hebrew class and shared some of what he had learned. When they wrote the NAME of God, not his tittle or an attribute but the NAME of God they left the vowels out, adding in others, making a name they felt was respectful of God. Some even won’t use the modified version of His NAME unless reading the scriptures.

That struck me, as a fan of fantasy I’ve often read stories in which the real names of people are given special meaning and power, you didn’t tell anyone your real name because it would give them a hold over you, not that I think we would have power over God or anything, but the concept of the name we do not speak is one I’m very familiar with! Very fascinating, there is so much we modern Christian take for granted and far too casually sometimes!

As another member said, this writing seemed like an outline of something that was already a simplified outline of prayer and that’s how I felt about it too! Some good points, but mostly unneeded and often confusing explanation.

Now, I know your all on pins and needles as to whether I did my homework from last week (pray like I was dying) and need to know if I found my second chance/earthly mission! Finding a quite stretch of time was hard, so I just did it when I do my normal quite time, at night before I go to sleep. While I didn’t set the death time as it where to right after I said Amen, I did imagine that I was going to crash on the way to work the next morning, this was Monday night…..yeah, my timing is excellent, is it not? ;-)

I started by praying my normal prayers, but then my brain started racing, I’m not ready, there’s so much that I want to do and have happen (as a single 24 year girl you can guess what path these thoughts were taking!) I was not, am not ready to die! I tried to squash these fears, but they kept popping up! I felt horrible, as a Christian wasn’t I supposed to ready to go now, shouldn’t I rather die and be with Jesus then stay here on earth? I’m still feeling guilty over that one, I hear other people say they are ready for Jesus to come any moment and I feel like raising my hand and asking God to hold off for a few years yet…..

Ahem, anyway…..after a while, I managed to lock those fears away in their cupboard again (they get out more often then I care to admit, crafty little buggers!) When my mind stopped racing, this thought came from nowhere, take care of them.
I got excited, okay here it comes, something concrete and solid to work on, I’m ready God…..take care of them….. Um, okay, who?.....take care of them…..yeah, I got that, but WHO…..take care of them…..

I went back and forth like this for a while, but that was all, take care of them. I sighed, realizing that this was it and proceeded to stay awake for the next few hours mulling over what had just happened. Needless to say, I was rather disappointed that I didn’t turn out the way I’d hoped, but how can I stay disappointed for long? I feel God has spoken and whether or not it lines up with my imagined outcomes, I need to accept and keep praying and take care of them, whoever they may be! And driving in all that snow the next morning? Don’t even get me started on that…..I felt I’d practically invited the Grim reaper into the car with me! ;-)