Sunday, March 30, 2008

yup-- prayer heals

Two instances of the power of prayer here (thanks, Malcolm) and here.

In such cases, I'm always reminded of the joke about the guy on the rooftop during a flood who insists on waiting for God to save him. You know how it goes: a truck comes by and offers him a lift, but the guy says, "No; God will save me." A boat comes by when the waters have risen but the guy rejects the boat, too. A helicopter comes by when the water is nearly up to the roof, but the guy remains firm in his conviction that God will come down and save him. The guy eventually drowns, and when he's before the Good Lord, he reproaches him, demanding to know why God didn't try to save him. God replies, "I tried three times! I sent you a truck, then a boat, and then a helicopter!"

There are, of course, two ways for us to interpret the story. The atheistic way would be to say that faith in God is vain: there's no divine help coming, only help of the pedestrian variety. The more religious way of viewing the story would be that we need to stop looking for the Absolute somewhere in a meaningless "up there" and start seeing it right here, right where we are, in this moment. No matter which view you take, the lesson is obvious: focus on the now. As the Taoist* proverb goes, "With one eye always on the goal, you have but one eye left to find the Way."

*Taoist in spirit if not actually from the Taoist tradition.


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