1 Thessalonians 5:16-22 “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise the words of prophets, but test everything; hold fast to what is good; abstain from every form of evil.”
Writer Anne Lamott has famously said there are only three prayers to remember: “Help, Thanks, Wow.” Last week, as the snow fell and fell and fell, many of us were firmly in the “help” prayer category. I was feeling down about our shortened fall and the missed opportunities for more outdoor conversations. The rainy, icy, snow pelting my windows felt discouraging and like the harbinger of a long winter indoors ahead.
A friend posted a similar sentiment on Facebook and then went on to describe the pure joy her son was experiencing as his favorite season arrived. He joyously got into his snowsuit and boots and started collecting materials for the face of the snowman he was going to build. Snow angels appeared in the yard. This child’s reddened cheeks and smile showed that he was clearly in the “WOW!” prayer category.
Isn’t that the way it goes? Help, thanks, wow are often overlapping categories. A little of this, a little of that. Life is rarely black and white. A challenge can include moments of levity, a joy can feel bittersweet. For my friend, her child’s “wow” moment started to sneak into her “help” moment and changed it’s tone a little. She was still bummed, but was laughing with him in the snow, too. There can be “wow” in the midst of our disappointments, our grief, and our fears. And there can be “help” needed in the midst of our wows, too. “In all circumstances” our scripture says, which I think is a timely reminder. In all circumstances, share your “help, thanks, wow” moments with God, for God is present in them all. For that we give thanks, and say “wow!”
In Peace, Pastor Ruth
Let us pray. Creator God, it is you who have made us, and not we ourselves. We are dust without your breath of life. We are creatures, not creator; yet you entrust the care of creation to us. Breathe your spirit into us that we might be faithful in the tasks you set before us; through Jesus, the Christ who always goes before us. Amen.