I have been reading this book called, “A Prayer Journal,” by Flannery O’Connor. I went into this book with guns blazing expecting it to be the holy grail to an insight to God that i didn’t have access to before i picked up this novel. I was wrong. I felt like i was betraying a 21 year old girl from 75 years ago who is long gone. I wanted to unread it. I apologized to Flannery. Like i knew her deepest, darkest thoughts. I can barely handle my own thoughts about religion, much less someone with so much despair writing about it.
I know she meant well. I know that in maybe a year, or ten that i will feel differently about her prayers because i am fate-driven. But as of now, i feel like i know her secrets that she didn’t want some random 24 year old girl to know. She begged God to make her a famous writer, I mean, thats all she wanted. I couldn’t help but whisper to Flan, “God didn’t owe you that…”
Then i shut the book. I thought about all the things i ask him for. He doesn’t owe me any of it. God never promised me that he would give me my expectations. He did promise me that I wouldn’t have to fear the future and to give me hope for it. Which is WAY better than any of my humanly expectations. I thought how selfish she was. How all she prayed about was herself. I don’t think I liked her because she reminded me so much of me.
I had this vision in my head of someone praying for health while holding a cigarette in their hand. This almost humorous vision. I was mad at this book. She prayed about being a famous writer and then wrote about praying about it. It was so odd to me. Then i thought how often do i do this. How often do i beg God for something but refuse to change my habits..you want to be healthy? put the cigarette down. you want to be a writer? pick up a pen. In a society where instant gratification is what we want, it’s hard to accept this; God and magic do not correlate. God and miracles do. I don’t expect to wake up one morning with a book on my nightstand written by me, from God. (Santa is the one you should talk to about that.) But, what i can count on is that he will give me patience to sit still and let him speak through me to write.
You see, him giving you the equipment to make something is greater than him handing you something. Nightstands don’t come assembled. It takes tools and putting shelf B on upside down 7 times before you really needed shelf C. But man, it’s one hell of a nightstand that you put together after getting your Ph.D. in Big Lots instruction manuals. God is working on your pieces to make you one hell of a (insert expectation here) for him. For HIS credit. Miracles > Magic.
Thank you God for not treating me as my sins deserve.