End of My Rope: A Grumpy Prayer

God, creator and sustainer, let’s have a conversation.

Because this is what the end of my rope looks like.

This place, this life, this me is what the end of my rope looks like, and I don’t like it.

It is grumpy state, where nothing seems to go right, and every to-do least causes extreme weariness. I am tattered and torn, and have but wisps of faith to–not really grab onto, but to try to somehow re-spin together.

Is this how it felt for Jacob and Esau when they were squabbling nonstop about who was better? Did it feel like the walls were closing in from the boredom

Is this how if felt for Abraham and Sarah as they wondered around the desert for years, lonely and without a community?

Is this how it felt when Moses confronted the burning bush and plaintively said, I don’t wanna and asked if anyone else could do the tasks that laid before him?

Is this how Jesus felt when he neared Jerusalem again and again, only to turn around and hit another town first?

The squabbling children, the constant re-negotiation of what it feels like every single piece of the day. The endless, timeless, mundane tasks of every day. Largely unbroken, with interesting or fun things to do or people to see.

This terrible place of loving my life, and feeling like every piece of it makes me want to scream. The knowledge that there is much to be thankful for, and yet being stuck in a state of ingratitude.

And my kids seem to cry at the drop of a hat. And God know my grumpiness is not helping.

Where is a fig tree I can curse? Letting my poisoned words be soaked in harmlessly by the tree.

Where is the storm I can scream “Shut up!” to, in such a way the wind can whip away my words (and germs) so they become muted and dispersed by their surroundings.

Where is my peaceful boat where I can hide in the middle of a peaceful lake next to a peaceful mountain where I can shelter and pretend I have all the answers to the world’s problems: the racism, the ignorance, the pandemic, the poverty, the exhaustion? I miss a retreat where I can engage in book studies or conferences or rest and pretend for a moment that the answers lay out there.

Are there answers out there? Is this the wrestling Jacob did with God? Is this the struggle Abraham had as he looked at the emptiness of his land and his family and tried to take cold comfort from the stars?

Is this the grieving boredom Jesus fought with as he scrapped one way of telling his message and rose again, once again, to try to give his gifts to a disdainful humanity.

Lord God, I am at the end of my rope, and I am weary. Send your Holy Spirit: to inspire, conspire and aspire with. Fill me, Flood me, Overwhelm me with your Spirit. Teach me, Touch me, Entrust me with all those pieces I am missing.

And while I’m praying Lord,

I wouldn’t say no to a fig tree

or a storm

or a peaceful lake

or whatever it I need to get through this. I pray that you help me figure it out.

In Jesus, your son who was human and knows what this is like,

in Jesus’s most Holy name I pray.

Amen.

Pandemic Prayers and Resources

Everything Counts/Counting the stars

Count the stars God tells Abram and Sarai, or, if you prefer, count the grains of sand.

Lord sometimes I feel like my efforts are no more than grains of sand in an ocean of hurting, lonely and sick people.

And time is dripping through the egg timer, one solitary granular at the time.

Count the sand, how can I count the sand, when I am but one grain?

How can I calculate the stars when I am but one entity of stardust in a vast, vast universe?

God who knows the count of every hair on my head. Creator of all beings who walk or fly or swim or crawl; surely you know I cannot count that high.

How then can I count my efforts? In the moment of crises am I doing enough? Am I staying away enough (6ft and staying at home as much as possible)? Am I being in contact enough (phone calls and video conferences and snail mail)?

Am I opening up enough (how can I help), am I keeping my family safe enough (let’s not do that)?

Am I taking care of myself enough (walks and family and friends and reading)?

The box of food I’ve collected, is that enough to count? The one package of toilet paper I found, does that work? The one small family I was able to bus back home–they were only two people–is that enough?

Count the stars.

Count the sand.

God reassures Abram & Sarai that they are connected to the world, that they are part of a greater universe, that they are part of the whole of human family and because they are of one humanity

their grain of time

their glow of starlight

is enough.

Remind me of that too I pray.

Amen

astropixie: dont forget to look up | Calvin and hobbes quotes ...

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More Pandemic Prayers and Resources

Shannon A Thompson

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