Yesterday I caught myself out praying for help with a plumbing crisis at our home. I reflected on this mental lapse and came to the conclusion that my “prayer” was in fact “an expression of hope” that the plumbers would find the cause of the obstruction. I think that is a good definition of prayer, “an expression of hope”. Spiritual maturity does not allow for “asking prayers”, God does not reach down and pull roots out of a sewage pipe! We have trained people who do that work. Praying for things or situations that we are perfectly capable of addressing, is pointless.

This morning I awoke to the news of the horrific terror attack in Nice. How do spiritually mature people deal with these unspeakable acts of violence? We do not pray and ask God to intervene! We pray to “prepare our minds for action”. We ask ourselves “what can I do, in my limited sphere of influence, to create a better world?” “How can I modify my behavior in order to be a messenger of peace and reconciliation?” If I am in a position of leadership, “how can I put self aside and work always for the good of all?”

Most of us can do little to effect change at the macro level but all of us can be a force for good at the micro level. Whether we believe in a Universal God, the Wholly Other, the One without beginning or end, or the god that resides within all of us, change will only take place when we make up our minds to look at others through “kind eyes” instead of judging everyone we encounter. And if we see an opportunity to join in mass action for change, let us eschew violence of any kind and adopt the Mahatma’s philosophy of “non-violent resistance” (not passive resistance as our local newspaper likes to call it). Let us be prepared to suffer in order to bring in the new!

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