Sunday, March 27, 2011

Are You There God? It's Me, Ruban.

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We've been staying at my brothers home for eight days now, a few more days than we thought we would. I've been asked to stay off my hip completely which equals bed rest.  Day one I watched lots of TV, but by 2:30pm I had enough of Oprah and her Dr.'s. Plus, soon after my niece and nephew came home from school, they are more entertaining anyways.
One out of the three isn't hamming it up.
Through out the week I dabbled watching a little more TV. I tried reading things called books, but my attention span seems to be as long the throbs of dull pain in my hip. Every throb reminds me why I'm lying down on a foam mattress in my brothers living room. 

Right now the house is quiet as the family is at church, Faith is upstairs getting ready for the day and Myrtle's napping beside me. Now as I feel that dull pain throbbing in my hip I can't help but wonder about her future and literally what will tomorrow bring when I get the biopsy results.
Hopefully Myrtle is the only that sleeps through this blog.
To be a Christian without prayer is no more possible than to be alive without breathing.
~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

Prior to THE CALL I have been more or less the praying type. Since THE CALL my prayers have increased and intensified somewhat. I certainly have had a moment or two of "Why me?" That attitude though interfere's with having faith and really living life. 

Prayer is something I have given much thought of lately. Mainly because I have never quite grasped how and why it works, just that it does. Considering the variety of responses to my request to pray for me, it sounds like I am not that only one who doesn't understand.

Pray as though everything depended on God. Work as though everything depended on you.
~ Saint Augustine 
Roman Christian Theologian and Bishop of Hippo from 396 A.D. to 430 A.D. 

I was reading a book review for Promptings or Me? Recognizing the Spirit's Voiceby Kevin Hinckley. And I thought to myself "Looks like an interesting read. I wonder what the author's thoughts are on the how and why prayer works." So I emailed him and he graciously replied:

If Aunt Tillie needs a dose of divine intervention and I, in my nightly prayer, forget to mention her because I had too many other things on my ‘prayer list’, does she go without? Would a loving Heavenly Father withhold blessings He intended for Tillie, simply because I missed her in my prayer?

Again, what do we hope to accomplish in our conversations with our Creator?

The Children of Israel stood with the Red Sea before them and charging Egyptian army behind. Had they simply been content to a 1) narrow down my decision to two choices, 2) choose one, 3) look for burning or stupor, and then 4) follow, they wouldn’t have made it. Their two choices probably wouldn’t have included “ask the Lord to part the Red Sea!” More likely, it would have been: We narrowed our choices down to going North or going South. We decided on North. Can you confirm this?

Imagine Israel’s frustration when they couldn’t get an answer either way: no stupor, no confirmation, no answer at all! Doesn’t He care? They’d wonder. Can’t He see we’re in trouble here?

The truth, obviously, would be that the Lord had a completely different plan in mind. His plan included options the Children of Israel could not even conceive of.

So, in looking at our own prayers, are you more interested in your solutions or His? Do you really want to be limited by your mortal, myopic solutions to your problems or would you be more blessed by learning his panoramic perspective?

In short, why do we pray? To learn what it is He wants us to do.  We pray to be filled by the empowerment that comes from divine communication.  We pray to learn His will, not to tell Him what He needs to do for someone or something.

This might include “what would you have me do for Aunt Tillie? Heavenly Father, you love Aunt Tillie. She’s your daughter and I know you will bless her according to her needs. How can I help? Is there something I can do for her?”

I feel comfortable praying for the tumor to be benign and for a swift recovery that I may provide for my family. Additionally I pray for support that I can handle this well. 

Praying is seemingly an intangible thing. There's been plenty of times I have not wanted to pray, or questioned if there was anyone to pray to. But I've been fortunate enough to have recognized answered prayers and this makes the intangible tangible. 

For example I know myself better than anyone, so I know that the burden of the implications of the tumor for me are heavy. Prayer answered: that burden has been lifted.

My earning power this month was taken down a few notches. Prayer answered: my brother's business partner had a 50/50 draw at a bar he spins vinyl at to help out with our travel expenses. Someone at the Workers Compensations Board noticed that I was underpaid and sent me the difference. 

I can't play with Myrtle as I used to or help Faith around the house. Prayer answered: my dad comes by and cleans our house scrubs the shower and picks up groceries. Here at my brother Jason's, he and Colleen and their kids play all day long with Myrtle.

Of course there's a hip tumor the size of a kiwi weakening the bone. Prayer answered: I have one the best doctors in the whole world working with a team on my recovery plan.

I've had a few sad moments, but somehow felt comforted. Prayer might not make me invincible, but it sure has calmed my troubles, kept me focused on the positive and open to miracles.


  1. Ruban, this is the most spiritual thing I have experienced all day. Thank you for sharing you insights and thoughts. Our prayers are with you and your family.

  2. I will never understand why good people like you have to go through hard things like this.....I suppose it is because then the rest of us weaklings wouldn't learn what we need to from you spiritual giants. VERY inspiring! We will be focusing extra hard on our prayers for you tonight and sending good thoughts your way tomorrow. :)

  3. Know that even in Castlegar at least one person is thinking of you. Good to see you last weekend. Love and best wishes always.

  4. Another fantastic blog Ruban! Thanks for sharing.

  5. We are anxiously waiting with you to hear the result and love to hear in your blog the calm resolve that comes through prayers resting upon you and your family. He doesn't take all the trial away... he just helps us manage the best we can with what we have and like you said... find the good and the positive in each and every moment. Our fasting are prayers are with you.