Thursday, September 21, 2006

Cutting off good intentions

The thing I love about God is that He always knows how to make sure we're paying attention. After my post about praying for the jerks in traffic, I got the wonderful opportunity to experience a whole slew of jerks. In the presence of my little two year old parrot. Fortunately, I didn't use any words of the four letter variety. However, she now yells at random intervals, "Stupid Wacko!" Which led to my five year old asking, "Why are you yelling at wackos?"

Oh. Yeah. I'm supposed to be praying for them instead of calling them names.

But I answered my daughter, and I tried to explain the intricacies of traffic and how bad it was to swerve and cut people off. And she said, "Why would they do that if it's dangerous?" My automatic response would be to say, "Becasue they're jerks." But really... do people just drive around dangerously for being a jerk? Of course not. How many drivers out there say, "I think I'll go irritate Danica today"? Yeah, that's what I thought. Which led me right back to getting down on my knees (well, as much as one can do while navigating the freeway) and remembering that I committed myself to standing in the gap for these "wackos."

Which is why, when I say that I'm no expert on prayer, I mean it with a very sincere heart. But just as sincerely, I hope to be better. I think about prayer with very good intentions, but I find that my mind often wanders-like to the lint on my pants. Or, to the weird stuff growing out of my husband's ears. And yes, sometimes even to bad places. I'm not quite sure how one manages to think about sinning while praying, but I seem to have mastered that skill.

The funny thing about praying for our enemies is that sometimes it just makes us more aware of the stuff we're doing in our lives and shouldn't be. I got so engrossed in my prayer/analysis of the "wackos" that I became distracted, and yes, I ended up cutting someone off. Oops.

I wonder what expletives that person said about me, or maybe, I had the great fortune of cutting off a person who knew a little more about grace than I, and the person said, "God, bless that wacko."


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