“If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.” James 1:5-6.
I often find myself lacking wisdom, so I am grateful for the author of James and his reminder to pray. In times of confusion, we can always turn to God who will help us discern the next step. God does not get wrapped up in our confusion as we tend to. God does not hold our weaknesses against us, but rather is always willing to provide loving guidance. However, we do have to remember to ask. We must be willing to open our hearts and minds to God, and – this is important – surrender the outcome to God. Our egos, however, really want to come up with the solutions on our own. The ego wants to be heroic, maybe even famous. This is not the path to wisdom and peace. Fortunately, we each have a sacred soul that has no interest in conquering the world, but rather living in relationship with it. I am reminded of some lines from a beautiful poem written by Alfred K. LaMotte entitled, “Love Doesn’t Need a Story”:
“Whether you feed the multitudes today
or only wash the dishes
makes no difference at all.”
I once took a daylong cooking class in a commercial kitchen. I was struck by how difficult the work must be to do day in and day out. People are on their feet for hours. More than once I thought the heat from all the burners would surely do us all in. I also learned that as heavy pots and pans seemed to perpetually fill the large sinks, people who wash dishes are incredibly heroic. The same is true of the people who make beds, vacuum floors, empty the trash, and check out our groceries. Being heroic means going about our daily lives, however we are called, with humility and grace. Through prayer, we can learn how to live our lives in such dignity whatever our circumstances we find ourselves in. God is always willing to go where we need to be.