A few nights ago I was at the gym and while I was signing in, the receptionist asked what I did for a living. She explained that she was looking for a new career and she didn’t know what she wanted to do.
In her early 20s, betwixt and between, I made a few suggestions that might have helped me at her age and told her that I had been similarly confused but found my way.
In times past, before becoming the cheerful agnostic, I would have prayed for her over the next few days. Not that she would find God or Jesus or anything like that, but so that she might have some care and concern around her as she found her way. 20 is hard. It’s confusing and scary and filled with big things.
I would have said that God was awake when I was asleep. Praying didn’t obligate him to do anything, but God was awake and all I could do was pray that she found her way because that felt a bit more proactive and engaged than a generic “well, I hope it works out ok for you”.
I told Whytelash that I missed praying and she asked why I couldn’t just pray to the universe.
There was a contract of sorts (if you want fancy theology language for $1,000 Alex, it was a covenant) between God and I. I upheld the rules as best I could, did what I could, went to church and tried to be a good follower. He had to listen to me and be awake when I supplicated. He didn’t have to agree, he didn’t have to do anything, but he had to listen. He was an entity of sorts and he had to listen.
I don’t think it owes me anything.
My prayers aren’t much. In truth they never were. They aren’t selfish, at least not any more than anyone else.
They are profoundly human. Born out of my limitations. Often birthed in my wishes for others. They are small and faint and few.
But they matter.
And I do not know what to do with them.