No Talk; No Action: Same Story...
Could it have been only a little over a month that I wrote https://bfthsboringblog.blogspot.com/2017/10/prayer-is.html and followed up with https://bfthsboringblog.blogspot.com/2017/10/prayer-isnt.html?
If you haven't read those posts, please do. If you have, thank you and I HOPE that you have acted in your own way on some of the things that I mentioned.
But here were are a little over a month later and we're in the same boat. We are still NOT talking and we are still NOT acting. I also have to wonder if those who call out for prayers are actually praying. Or are they just spewing out the standard "prayers to the families...good thoughts to the friends." That's NOT just something to be said, it is something to be acted on.
In my religious tradition; prayer is something you do, but it is not a standalone. You don't just say a prayer and then move on. You continue to pray and you ACT. As a practicing Christian, I take to heart these verses from Matthew: " For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me."
I believe in the power of prayer. But I also believe that we are called to act. For example, if I am sick, I may pray for good health. However, I also need to take an active part in regaining my health. I may need to see my physician and if he/she prescribes medication I need to take it as indicated. I also need to rest, get plenty of fluids and all of the other things that our mothers, grandmothers, etc. taught us to do. Or I may pray for a good grade on an exam, but that does preclude me from studying or getting extra help from the teacher. Prayer and action complement each other.
Prayer can direct and guide us. It can comfort and instill peace. If you do pray, listen for guidance on what you can do to stop the seemingly endless madness that it going on in our world. If you are a person of action, consider adding prayer before acting. (I say consider if you are comfortable. While I believe in and encourage prayer, we must all do what we feel is best for our own person.)
How can we continue down the same path? No talk. No action. No change. Is that what we want? I know it's NOT what I want. It's not ok for children to die in school. It's not ok for congregants to die in their house of worship (no matter what sect that house may be.) It's not ok to be shot at the movies or at a concert or on a ball field. This is NOT ok. This should NOT be the norm. And it HAS become the norm. It doesn't matter what you call it: terrorist, lone shooter...labels don't change things. ACTION changes things.
Maybe you believe gun control is the answer. Then stand behind that and act. Maybe you believe that addressing mental health issues is the answer. Then stand behind that and act. Maybe you're not sure what the answer is. Then research: read and listen and decide what you must do it act. For some of us tomorrow (Nov 7) is an election day. Act with your vote. (Pray before you do so if you are so moved.)
We NEED to talk (and not yell). We need to act sensibly. We NEED to change the story.