We Cannot Merely Pray
Is there anyone among us who has never been tempted to blame external circumstances for their problems? People hold their parents responsible, their government, the constellation of planets, Loch Ness or God - the supreme "scapegoat" in the sky.
What about God anyways? Does he even exist?! We have never seen him, he has no Twitter account and doesn't show up in the Facebook friend search.
People have long tried to understand why God would allow us to suffer. A scene from the movie Catch 22 comes to my mind:
'Good God, how much reverence can you have for a Supreme Being who finds it necessary to include tooth decay in His divine system of creation? Why in the world did He ever create pain?'
'Pain?' Lieutenant Shiesskopf's wife pounced upon the word victoriously. 'Pain is a warning to us of bodily dangers.'
'And who created the dangers?' Yossarian demanded. 'Why couldn't He have used a doorbell to notify us, or one of His celestial choirs? Or a system of blue-and-red neon tubes right in the middle of each person's forehead?'
'People would certainly look silly walking around with red neon tubes right in the middle of their foreheads.'
'They certainly look beautiful now writhing in agony, don't they?'
I won't go into the whole back story about the creation of the universe this time, and whether or not it was designed for our maximum benefit. Instead, I will leave you with a poem by Rabbi Jack Riemer, and a wish that it will inspire you "to be the change you want to see":
Prayer and Action
We cannot merely pray to you, O God, to end war;
For the World is made in such a way
That we must find our own path of peace
Within ourselves and with our neighbors.
We cannot merely pray to you, O God, to root out prejudice:
for we already have eyes
With which to see the good in all people
If we would only use them rightly.
We cannot merely pray to you, O God, to end starvation:
For we already have the resources
With which to feed the entire World
If we would only use them wisely.
We cannot merely pray to you, O God, to end despair:
For we already have the power To clear away slums and to give hope
If we would only use our power justly.
We cannot merely pray to you, O God, to end disease:
For we already have great minds
With which to search out cures and healing,
If we would only use them constructively.
Therefore we pray instead
For strength, determination, and will power,
To do instead of merely to pray
To become instead of merely to wish.
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