For today’s Prayer to Passage, I have chosen the book ‘Chicken Soup for the Christian Soul — 101 Stories to Open the Heart and Rekindle the Spirit’ by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, Patty Aubrey, and Nancy Mitchell. Founders Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen set out in faith 22 years ago to bring something of contribution to the world. Today, the ‘Chicken Soup for the Soul’ series comprises over 250 titles, offering thousands of inspirational stories on an array of topics. In the world of storytelling, Canfield and Victor Hansen have contributed something for everyone.
And I pray, “Dear God, thank You for presenting life as an opportunity for contribution to the world. In faith, what I contribute rests in its very purpose, which might be not yet fully known. Known, is the ability to recognize what feels natural. It is not a struggle. Ease of contribution starts with You and continues with me. Thank You for inspiring me to play.”
During my prayer, I held the closed book in my hands. In faith, I opened the book to page 40. The passage reads:
On the street I saw a small girl cold and shivering in a thin dress, with little hope of a decent meal.
I became angry and said to God:
‘Why did you permit this? Why don’t you do something about it?’
For awhile God said nothing. That night he replied, quite suddenly:
‘I certainly did something about it. I made you.'”
Submitted by Sister Mary Rose McGeady,
After reading this, two immediate thoughts washed over me—as a long awaited ocean tide covers sandy, sun-kissed feet following an icy inland winter. I first reflected on the page number, 40. In the Bible, the number 40 represents physical completion. In my prayer, I said to God, “Ease of contribution starts with You and continues with me.” I am the physical representation of God’s contribution. There is a Divine purpose meant to be completed on earth, and I am physically existing, available and committed to carrying out that Divine purpose.
And then, of course, the content of the passage resonated with me in harmony. The writer suddenly knew that it wasn’t God’s action to take. God had already set forth action. God made the writer. And God spoke to the writer.
As I am typing this, I have the television sitcom ‘Everybody Loves Raymond’ on in the room.
There is a scene where Raymond, a father of three, is sitting with his eldest child having a first father-daughter talk about the birds and the bees. It is apparent that he is already nervous to have this conversation with his little girl. And just as he seems to get the hang of it, she interjects, “No. I know the man and woman have to do something. But why were we born? Why does God put us here?” In classic Ray Romano fashion, he becomes far more flustered by this inquiry from his young daughter than having to tell her how babies are made.
There are many possibilities to a question that is answered in faith. What we ourselves believe about being here is our own individual answer to that question, Why?
French Enlightenment philosopher and writer Voltaire once said, “Faith consists in believing when it is beyond the power of reason to believe. It is not enough that a thing be possible for it to be believed.” When we feel called to take action, even in blind faith, the purpose itself becomes Divine. Exploring this one step further, rather than waiting for our imagination to complete a Divine purpose, the call to action moves forth in our physicality. We see this most brilliantly evidenced in miracles.
There is a fable that comes to mind in regards to this. The story goes:
There was once a flood that covered all of the buildings in a small town, except for one rooftop. Two fellows stood on the roof desperately praying, “Please, dear God, save us!” A large log floated by the two men. One of the fellows said, “God will provide.”
Next, a few residents of the town passed by the rooftop in a boat. The other fellow said, “God is coming. God will save us.” And finally, a helicopter was delivered over the men, the pilot shouting for them to reach up to the rope ladder and be saved. The two men shouted back, “The Lord is on the way! We have faith!” And they passed on the third miracle God had provided them.
“As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.”
The more I recognize my individual purpose, while further developing discernment, the sooner those calls to action are answered and accepted. And in discerning these Divine purposes, I complete them within the synergy of God’s sending of them. God sends, and I take over. It’s as if Heaven is corporate headquarters, and I am out in the field, making it happen. Physical completion, mission accomplished.