Today’s Prayer to Passage comes from the book ‘Greek Historical Thought’ by Arnold J. Toynbee
Today I pray, “Dear God, How do we best respond to others’ afflictions?”
Following my prayer, I opened the book to page 168 to receive this passage:
“The will to persevere in the recognized paths of honor disappeared in the uncertainty whether death would intervene before the goal were attained, and the place of honor and welfare was usurped by the pleasure of the moment and everything that contributed to it. The fear of God and the ordinance of Man ceased to exercise their inhibitions. Since death ascended alike upon the just and the unjust, there seemed nothing to choose between piety and irreligion; and criminals no longer expected to live to be convicted and sentenced, or, rather they felt that the extreme penalty was already suspended over their heads and that life should be made to yield some enjoyment before the blow descended.”
—THE PLAGUE AT ATHENS (430 B.C.)
(THUCYDIDES: BOOK II CHAPTERS 47-53)
Knowing nothing of this book, I’ll apply it to something I noticed about people today. A positive attitude is what I am afforded the opportunity to contribute. A smile, a kind gesture, an acknowledgement. Every person is here to get what they need to get. I will not seize gifts of others’ spiritual attainments. Even when they are plagued by afflictions, I can pray for their pain to subside, yet allow growth to continue for them. Prayer balances imbalances.