Thursday 12 July 2012

Praying v. Planning

By Eric Hanna, S. J.

You know, if I spent ten years trying to fabricate the perfect offering to God, it wouldn't work. I could analyze the needs of the world, the instructions of scriptures, and my own intellectual powers. I could plan a huge material work meant to express all I know of faith and spend the years fine-tuning it, cajoling myself by will-power into carrying out my plan. Such a way of proceeding implies that I know what is best for God and it is my responsibility to give it to Him. At the end it of it all … it might or might not be any good. And I myself might or might not be a complete wreck for having taken everything upon myself.

But if I spent ten minutes praying; if I spent a few quiet moments clearing my mind and making an offering of who I am and what I do today – then whatever meagre motions I made, toward changing the way I lived into an offering to God, would be taken up and transformed into something really beautiful by God Himself. My hours would be God's hours. My connections with other human beings would be alive to their truly divine possibilities. I would treat the moments that I had with love and therefore see the beauty in them that I didn't put there but which was in them to be discovered. And what little work I did would be done with a free heart and would be refreshing rather than draining when it was done. And not merely my work would be changed. But also my play, my rest, my relationships, my very way of being: all would be part of the offering and all would experience the liberation of not having to be anything other than what they are at their freest and most joyful.

It is all right to plan. But planning out what would be best in the sight of God can never be a substitute for truly praying and discovering that the best is beyond our own imagining.

In short, I leave the offering of my soul to the one who has shown a better track-record of knowing what on earth to do with it. I plant myself in the rich soil and spread my green leaves to the sun. I pray.

1 comment:

  1. Dear Br. Eric,

    Great post. It really speaks to the perfectionist in me. Thanks. =)

    Happy day!