MAKE A WISH!
I received this chat message from my fiancee on Facebook at precisely 11:11 Sunday evening. At the risk of sounding like someone who tries too hard to Christianize everything, I’ve been working on turning the practice of making an 11:11 wish into a regular spiritual discipline over the course of the past year or so. I feel weird using a term like spiritual discipline – like this is something monks practice in addition to fasting and meditation – but when I look at what I’ve been doing, I feel like that’s the best term for it.
Here’s how it works: whenever I look at the clock and see that the time is 11:11, I pray for something small. I don’t pray that the people of an unknown culture would come to know Jesus or that cancer would disappear in people who have been given days to live. I pray that maintenance will come fix my toilet soon, or that I’ll get a decent night’s sleep tonight. It’s like my own little Christianized wish. This whole practice stems from one simple idea:
My prayers are too big.
I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with praying for big things. We need to be willing to bring the big, scary things of the world to God, and we need to believe that he cares enough and that he’s powerful enough to do something about them. But I wonder if sometimes we get too focused on praying for miracles. I wonder if it’s possible to pray too much for big things. If all we pray for are big things, then all we’re committing to God are big things. And if all we commit to God are the big things in our lives, then I wonder if we somehow subconsciously start to believe the big things are all that God cares about.
We need to be willing to bring the small, insignificant things of our lives to God, and we need to believe that he cares enough and that he’s powerful enough to do something about them. Do you believe that God cares if you get eight hours of sleep tonight instead of two? Do you believe that every now and then he works things out to make your life a little easier? Or do you believe he’s only interested in real problems like terminal illness, political unrest, and human trafficking?
I tend to believe the former. Because that’s what love is. Yes, love is being concerned with and trying to help with the big, difficult problems, but it’s also caring about the little things. It’s a pat on the shoulder in the middle of a rough day and offering to run to the store when life is just too busy.
Jesus tells us that God notices every time a sparrow falls dead out of the sky and that he makes sure the lilies are always dressed in their Sunday best. If God cares enough to make a bunch of plants look pretty, I think it’s safe to say he cares enough to do something little for his children every now and then.
Do you ever pray for “little” things? What sort of things do you pray for?