“We must be the change we wish to see in the world.”
I was watching an older movie last night, Hidalgo, about a man on a 3,000-mile horse race across the Arabian Desert. There is a scene in the movie, near the end, where his beloved horse (Hidalgo) has collapsed from the heat of the sun, and the man takes out his gun to end the horse’s suffering. In that moment, when he is on his knees and all is lost, prayer comes to him: in the form of a vision and in the form of Native American chants from his ancestors. It is a powerful scene. And I do believe that when we reach the lowest points in our lives—when we realize we can’t control the outcome and there is nothing left to do but surrender—prayers come.
In those moments, our prayers no longer focus on our daily list of complaints. The prayers go deeper. We may still have an endless array of worries: job, relationships, bills, children, illness, conflicts, annoyance, and frustrations. But when we are on our knees—meaning our lives have reached a critical juncture—the prayers change. When someone is dying, when someone close to us has died, or when we are facing our own death, what is “important” takes on new significance. Likewise, when our lives have crashed in a way we never imagined . . . our prayers change. I remember hearing a story about a woman with a number of children, whose husband suddenly died, saying to her children, “We had no problems before.”
Prayer at this point becomes a clearing out, a making way, and a dismantling what no longer serves us. It is like tilling the ground before planting. These prayers ask for guidance. They ask for help.
We allow an opening for Spirit. It’s as though we finally reach that place where we say, “Ok, I’ve tried my way, it’s not working. I’m ready now to let go and listen.” The answer to our prayer may not be the one we wanted. It may be something totally different. Spirit may have something more in store for us. Spirit may have something more in store for the world.
If you set aside 30 minutes today to pray, to listen in silence, and to open your heart, what would you hear? What would you ask for?
My prayer, today, is for peace. I ask for peace for myself. I ask for peace to individuals from my past that I find difficult to love. I ask for peace to every person engaged in battle (whether in the home or in far off lands). I ask for peace to every person making a decision to deploy men and women into battle. I ask for peace to every child waiting for a parent to come home. I ask for peace to every parent, lover, and spouse who is waiting for someone to come home. I ask to learn how to love better.
In joy and gratitude,