Two little girls were walking to school. It was a beautiful spring morning, and they took some time to enjoy the flowers and the fresh air.
Suddenly they realized that they had taken so long enjoying the flowers that they were going to be late for school. Soon the bell would ring, and they’d be marked tardy. Not wanting to get in trouble, the first little girl said to her friend, “Let’s kneel down right here and pray.”
“No,” her friend answered quickly. “Let’s run while we pray!”
It’s always a good idea to pray. But often we need to run while we pray.
God can and will do amazing things. But He won’t take the fork out of your hand to keep you from overeating. He won’t make your credit card disappear to keep you from going further into debt. He won’t use the Star Wars magical transponder to “Beam You Up” away from your workplace and home to spend time with your wife and children. He values our will enough to generally give us the dignity of our own choices, even if they result in pain.
I hope you do both. I hope you are like the second little girl, both running AND praying on her way to school.
- Yes, pray for God’s miraculous healing, AND consistently do all in your power to live a healthy lifestyle.
- Yes, pray for God’s financial blessings, AND get up every morning and look for work until you find it or create it.
- Yes, pray for God to soften your estranged spouse’s heart, AND get the pastoral or Christian counseling help you need – with your spouse if possible – to deal with your marriage crisis.
- Yes, pray for God’s touch on your mind to heal from stress and anxiety, AND learn to take responsibility for your own thoughts and manage your stress better.
Our prayers may often be answered by a change in our own understanding, our own heart, or our own behavior. Welcome that aspect of God’s intervention in your life just as much as the instantaneous miracles.
Pray. And run!
Your turn: Where have you tended to “spiritualize away” your responsibilities? What actions can you take to better cooperate with God in accomplishing what is needed? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.
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