Pray with everything you’ve got
I have never been religious in the traditional sense. As the first boy in my family’s history to be bar mitzvah’d, I was honored. I was proud of my heritage but the oft-times dogmatic rituals that go with religion never spoke to me. For decades, I hovered between agnostic and atheist, my questioning, skeptical nature disallowing me from accepting that which I could not prove.
As the years faded, I evolved a spiritual philosophy that reverberated with that probing, doubtful me: Simply put, I believe there is an all-patient, non-judging, immensely intelligent, creative-in-the-extreme Higher Power. Call It “God,” “Spirit,” “Universe,” “Ghia” or whatever you prefer, it is too vast for a name to define it anyway.
Yet, as opposed to the belief that he/she/it sits on high and determines or guides our lives, I believe that said “higher power” is actually the combined energy of all there is, whether that be animal, plant, mineral, quark, atom or supernova. Since we are all birthed of It, It is us and we access It whenever we choose. Actually, we are always in touch with It, even when we’re not trying to be. Like fertile soil, all we need do is plant our thoughts into It and It responds in the same fashion as a seed will grow when placed in dirt. It does not need to be coaxed nor asked; it just happens.
I am not so arrogant as to know that this is the ultimate truth, but it works for me. I also am aware that others might have differing views, and that too is fine with me. You do you. I’ll do me. Providing neither of us attempts to override the other, we’ll get along fine. I imagine that no matter what your beliefs, you agree with that.
I put all this out there because when I use the concept of “pray,” I don’t want you to think I’m asking you to do something foreign to your beliefs, such as go to church or temple or to repeat psalms or chapters if that’s not what you do. Should that be of solace to you, that’s wonderful. If, however, you’re more like me, please don’t let the use of the word prevent you from hearing the more important message.
Disclaimers completed, please, in whatever fashion you do so, and to whatever God or Higher Power you believe, pray for our country.
Pray that people of goodwill will be heard over the cacophony of hate and violence.
Pray that the upheaval we witness will force us to realize that we all seek safety, love and happiness and that we will pursue that as our collective goal.
Pray that we see in the eyes of those on the street, ourselves, rather than “the other” and can accept that we are an imperfect society and the culmination of centuries of errors has created a broken, unstable, exposed divide that we must now bridge.
Pray that the ripping open of those wounds now jaggedly exposed will force us to confront our differences and it will gift upon us an opportunity to heal and hear each other better.
Pray that we are wise enough to comprehend that simply because we believe it to be true, it is not necessarily true for everyone.
Pray that we are open enough to accept that some of us have privileges others do not, and those benefits are a function of an unbalanced culture, not awarded because some are superior. Let us be so humble to remember that uplifting others removes nothing from anyone. As one is raised up, the collective floor is heightened. As we each climb the ladder, it is crucial that we reach back a hand to those behind and pull them along with us. We must become an endless chain of humanity, climbing and lifting.
Pray that our leaders put aside petty, unnecessary, outdated concepts of “right and wrong” and look upon the citizenry not with contempt and disdain but with marvel and awe. They — and we — must seek out those left behind, overlooked, abandoned, ignored, mistreated, unseen, brutalized, beaten, humiliated and discarded and offer to them a restorative hug and welcoming arms rather than a bloody club.
Pray that sooner rather than later, we will react to disagreements with compassion and kindness before might and power. Pray that we will stay focused on the true enemies in today’s fight: two deadly viruses: COVID-19 and racism.
Whether you classify yourself as a “believer” or not, in whatever method you commune with whatever higher power in which you believe, pray with everything you’ve got that we are all reminded that all lives are sacred and meant to be honored and revered.
Pray hard. Pray fast. Pray deeply.
Scott “Q” Marcus is a professional speaker and founder of www. ThisTimeIMeanIt.com, where he can be contacted for coaching, consulting, and presentations. During this social distancing period, he is conducting monthly online workshops on setting goals and getting past what holds you back. Find out more at www.ThisTimeIMeanIt.com/intentions.