And you’ll think love is to pray – but I’m sorry I don’t pray that way.
– partial lyrics from “Tainted Love” by Soft Cell
I can only recall telling one person the following; though perhaps I’ve let it slip out to others over the years. Either way, very few people know this about me.
I often pray when I’m in the hot tub at the gym.
It’s odd, I know. The idea of sitting half-naked in 100 degree water and saying a few “Our Fathers” is probably foreign to, well, everyone.Yet at some point over the years, I’ve gotten into the habit of lowering my head and knocking out a few scripted prayers to God and having a one-way conversation with the Big Guy while soothing a few aching muscles from working out.
Perhaps, originally, I just needed something to do. I mean, when you’re alone with your thoughts, you have to think of something, right?
Or maybe at one point in my life, I was dealing with issues that required some deeper reflection and the hot tub provided that “me-time” for it.
And I’m not a religious person per se. If anything, my interest in religion is more academic than spiritual. I enjoy the meaning behind the rituals, the stories, and trying to understand where that fine-line is located between myth and historical fact. Besides, religion penetrates deep (sometimes too much so) into people’s daily lives and to not be aware would be like missing a big piece of society’s puzzle.
So what do I pray for? Technically this is privileged information but I’ll tell you anyway…
First and foremost, I thank God for the Terror Twins. Every session starts with a simple Thank You for the two little guys who mean everything to me.
Too often, I think, people slam God right away for selfish reasons; for materialistic things. That’s not my style.
Next I pray for good health. Again, I start with the twins. I ask that they continue to be happy and healthy and for Matt to continue to kick autism’s ass (and yes, I use that word. I’m sure God’s fine with it.). Then work my way through family (wife, in-laws, siblings and so forth) because, like many families, ours is loaded with bad habits and genes that help keep hospitals in business.
Only then do I start in with myself. I ask G to look out for my own health: to drop a few pounds, to NOT have a sore back, to allow my plantar fascia to feel better, etc.
I ask for guidance to be a good husband, father, and provider. To give me patience with the wife and kids and to help me be a happier human.
I’m not someone who prays to win the lottery nor do I pray for a bigger house (and I’ve never once asked for more hair). I think the worst thing I’ve ever prayed for was for Sarah Palin to be given permanent strep throat. But then again? Don’t we all want that?
Five minutes, a few times a week. That’s all. Some might say that’s not enough but I think it’s just right. It lets God know that I’m appreciative what he’s done for me and my family while at the same time, providing temporary relief from 3-sets of burpees. It’s a win-win, really.