Sunday, April 19, 2009

Unanswered Prayers, what ifs, what nots, shoulda-coulda-wouldas...

I, for some reason, have had that Garth Brooks song "unanswered prayers" in my head today. I think it all started while listening to "This American Life" yesterday. That episode was about 'what I used to believe,' and there was a segment in which, two people, a man and a woman meet by sheer coincidence. The man is a christian minister, and the woman an almost-agnostic. They end up discussing whether God exists, and of course the minister spends the better part of the conversation trying to convince the lady. She asks him why is it that God answers some prayers and not others, and the minister explains that sometimes God saves you from what you think you want by not answering what you've prayed so earnestly for.

I'm not at all religious (despite being raised in the christian tradition). I believe this, however, that everything you pray for is not necessarily what is good for you, and that yes, you should thank God (or the creator, or whatever entity you believe in) for unanswered prayers.

'Remember when you're talking to the man upstairs,
that just because he may not answer,
doesn't mean he don't care.
Some of God's greatest gifts
Are unanswered prayers.'

I remember all the times I prayed hard for something, but I couldn't really tell you now, any one specific thing that I had wanted so badly at the time. Somehow everything just works out the way it should.

I do also believe that we are also blessed with free will, but I think it all just works together. One of my favorite movies is "Sliding Doors" with Gwyneth Paltrow. The movie depicts two alternate realities and the possibilities those realities hold. I love that movie so much (though the details escape me right now) because it deals with wondering what if.

I think the reason I love it so much is because I am always looking for the perfect scenerio, perfect solution, perfect everything. What I've learned though, is that there is no 'perfect.' There just IS. It's our interpretation of the IS that makes it perfect, or not. You make the decision, do what you feel is best, and the result is what you more, no less, no perfect, no imperfect. No one can really say with any certainty that their result is perfect, or that it isn't and that there is a more perfect result out there.

So, I'm grateful for answered and unanswered prayers, free will and destiny, and perfect imperfection.


Amber & Kibwe said...

Wow! so well put. I am a believer in the this same philosophy. I am a person in religion who is spiritual (not caught so much in the intricacies of religious demands). Not only do I believe firmly in prayer, but that you get what u pray for. BUT sometimes when u dont get what u pray for then it may not be what is best. ie praying for superficial qualities in a future spouse... :)