Does one exclude the other? If you pray, can you not have partiality for an outcome? And if you have an inclination for an outcome, does this suggest that you are immune from prayer?
Nope, I think not. I think this dichotomy is a fabulous example of our balancing act as human beings looking for a spiritual perspective in our lives.
Here’s what I mean:
My prayers tonight go to Zac Joseph Doodle, my canine best friend, who is spending the night (expensively) at the dog hospital because of vomiting and super-intense-doggie-gastric-distress.
My prayers tonight are: “If it be Your will, please let Zacy be fine. And give me the courage and the willingness to be present with whatever happens.”
My preference is inevitable. How could I not want him HOME, like, right now? I do, of course I do. This is my human prerogative—I want what I want. (I spent years praying only for God’s will for me. That was a fine practice, yet it ignored a big chunk of the picture—my humanity.)
Yet, ultimately, I am not in charge. Whatever is going to happen, will, indeed, happen. Zac is in the hands of that Ultimate Physician, as we all are. Hence, the practice of surrender is essential on this journey of ours.
I know that wanting life to be different than it is in the moment is the direct path to suffering. But preference is inevitable.
Preference and surrender—human and divine. That’s how I hope to live my prayers.
See my handsome young man dog coming home, silly and goofy and delighted to be back.
See him healthy and well.
See it happening.
Send on your prayers!