Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Every Little Thing Counts

I'm carrying on a silent conversation nearly all the time with God.  We talk about everything, and sometimes we even use words.  

A couple of days ago, a Baptist pastor, Pastor Nelms, prayed an opening prayer to 'bless' a Nascar event that was taking place, and his choice of words raised quite a few eyebrows.  Among the words he used were thanks for his "smokin' hot wife" (something I commend him for doing, since far too few men would say they are attracted to their spouse and especially not in public).  But it wasn't limited to that.  He also thanked God for the (insert brand name here) tires, the (insert brand name here) fuel, etc.  I was starting to wonder what god the guy was praying to because it sure sounded like an avid fan's endorsement of all the Nascar sponsors, rather than a prayer.

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There was no question it was heart felt.  

There was no question he was truly thankful.

Yet - how did the watching world see it? 

Well-l, the reaction I've been seeing is one of tee-hees and snickers.  Equating Christians with red-necks who only think about their truck, their dog, and the next left-hand turn (a Nascar reference, for you non-racing folks like me ...) not necessarily in that order.  Religifying absolutely everything.  Even the tires on the race-cars.  

Well, I must say that it was amusing to listen to - and I laughed so very hard the first time I heard it, especially his references to his family and the way he ended the prayer, "In Jesus' name, boogity boogity boogity Amen!!"  I'm just hoping that the world doesn't think that every Christian worships Nascar any more than they would think that every single person who speaks arabic is a terrorist.  Neither is true.

Regardless of how I feel (or don't feel) about Nascar... or about the reaction of the folks who have an opportunity to bask in the stereotypes Christians get (some with good reason!) the incident raises some interesting questions.  One of them is the idea of being able to pray anywhere about anything.  And that, I believe, is where the expression, "Every little thing counts" is important. The apostle Paul said to pray without ceasing.  To always give thanks for all things to God.  (Okay - I guess that would include sexy spouses too....ya-hoo!)

Yes, I pray about parking spaces, people crossing the street, and the next file I pick up at work, as well as the bigger things like the health of the family pets, someone's sickness, a grieving family, and the people impacted by a natural disaster or a tragedy.  

I do it because I believe God hears and I believe He cares.  And when not praying I try to listen; God's voice comes in many ways and through any number of people with whom I interact.  He surprises me sometimes at the variety of ways, the plethora of circumstances through which He gets His message across to me.   If listening is hard, I listen to music or get by myself and read a Good Book, among other things.  

I'm learning not to put Him in a box and say that He only can speak through or use this thing or that thing, this person or that person.  Sometimes I can't see how that could be possible and He ALWAYS surprises me, as I fully expect Him to do with Pastor Nelms.  

He can - and does - use every little thing to speak to me, just as I am learning to speak to Him about every little thing.

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