Saturday, April 05, 2008

if your guess is as good as mine

I waited patiently for the Lord; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry. Psalms 40:1

i like prayers. i wonder though if it is necessary to pray no less than 8 times in any given mormon church meeting. as far as i can tell nothing happens between sacrament and sunday school to warrant a prayer. unnecessary and recycled prayers seem to trivialize the experience. although, i am never quite sure what the experience should be like.

i actually quite like to pray. i like to thank God for things i suspect he has done for me or tell Him funny things about my day or complain about celibacy, etc. but i rarely pray for advice or guidance. and i think i know why. i dont like the concept of what i have heard called the "changing answer." i have heard of this concept most often linked to dating and marriage relationships more than anything else. the changing answer is a pretty self explanatory theory. people start to date and pray about each other and one (or both) of the people feels really good about it and then things go south and they dont know what to do because they felt like they received an answer to go forward. now they arent sure what to do because last time they prayed they felt good about it but now the relationship is terrible. if they are confused and ask someone about it people (leaders, bishops, etc) often say that answers change. or other scenario is that people date and pray about it, feel good, get married and three years later one of the spouses says something like this "i dont love you anymore," "turns out i am gay," or "here is the deal. i dont want to be married and i never really did."

now i understand that life circumstances change. people fall out of love. they develop mental illnesses or substance abuse problems that make relationships impossible. irreconcilable difference arise. abuse. etc. i dont mind that. thats just life. but is the point of praying and recieving answers so that we can have some sort of assurance or guarantee that what we are doing is going to work out? isnt that why we pray because we dont know so we thought we should ask someone that does? arent we asking because God knows who we are dating will eventually leave us (with three kids and a mortgage)? can God give us bad advice? there is always the chance i (or any of us) dont understand answers. but if that is the case what is the point in asking?

i dont know. but i dont like to ask God for guidance because if it turns out to be bad than i wont have any hard feelings against Him. thats why i keep boys out of our conversations all together. but dont worry i have plenty of others things to talk about. i tend to ramble. obviously.


michelle said...

oh..I sure did feel this little story...AMEN, AMEN....

brian said...

figuring out answers to prayers seems impossible. but hamlet had the same problem. was he really supposed to kill his uncle to avenge his father or did he just think he saw his father's ghost because he wanted to kill his uncle anyway?