Wednesday, February 23, 2011

A little cussin'...a little prayin'...

I consider myself to be a fairly patient person. I honestly do not have a fit in traffic (OK not very often anyway and never so much that people in other cars would know!) I can answer the same questions over and over. "What do you like to be called?" At least once a week someone asks me that. The thirty years of women clergy has still not resolved the question. My answer is "Rhoda." I don't mind answering that question over and over.

I'm also patient with my asthma and don't freak out at the first sign of wheezing. Some would say (read: husband) that I'm patient to the point of complacent. But longer than there have been ordained women clergy I have had asthma so I've developed a sort of patience about it.

But when it comes to computer stuff I am INSANELY impatient! Nothing gets me cussing a blue streak more than when something about the computer is messed up or when the server goes down, and I can't email. It's as though I have lost the ability to phone people if I can't email them. It's crazy! And I am not proud.

On my church computer there is some thing/hiccup/problem/#?*! - ing deal where as I'm typing along all of a sudden some HP product assistant screen pops up and completely interrupts what I'm typing. It doesn't happen all the time and there is no discernible pattern. There's probably a way to make it stop, but I haven't figured that out. It doesn't cause me to lose any work (or you could hear me cuss all the way to your house), and it goes away as soon as I click OK. I'm tired of pitching a fit about it, so I have least for a make friends with it...and use it as a call to prayer.

So far that's been working great! Of course it's only been two days...ask me again in a few weeks! But when that screen pops up and interrupts me, I'm choosing to stop what I'm doing, and take a brief moment to mention someone to God, or to offer a prayer of thankfulness for someone, or ask for direction about something.

God permeates our lives through and through all the time. I don't always live like I believe that, but I do indeed believe that. I don't think God is making this HP screen thing pop up! But I do think God "enjoys" receiving our attention, and offering prayers in random short bursts works for me better than setting aside some lengthy time in the morning or evening. Sometimes I'm able to engage a more traditional "prayer time", but lately these little bursts have really inspired me, and made me appreciate prayer all the more.

I am reminded of one of my all time favorite books: St. Benedict on the Freeway, by Corinne Ware. She was on the faculty of the Seminary of the Southwest in Austin for a long time, and is one of those people you think is truly mystical and connected to something great. But at the same time she is fun and joyful and completely approachable. Her book offers a way to look at prayer and connection that I find to be SO helpful. It's all about finding God in the daily interactions and choosing to let common things like the friggin' HP screen thing or your garage door opener be "triggers" that keep us in touch all day every day with God.

God is huge and transcendent and indescribable and infinite. And God is as close as your next breath. Making a conscious choice to allow something that is indeed irritating become something that calls me to prayer is making a big difference in my very small life. A day may come when the HP thing gets removed from this computer. Heck...I think this computer is on its last legs sometimes, but in this meantime, this wonderful ordinary meantime, I'm grateful that I get a little random nudge to pray. Thanks be to God.

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