Be Careful What You Pray For.
“Be careful what you pray for – you might get it.”
I’ve heard this so often, I try not to pray for anything at all. I’ve always been a believer that God really listens – even when I don’t really listen back. I worry not only that I’m wasting His time with my menial prayers, but also that my wishes might cause unforeseen grief to someone else.
I remember reading The Monkey’s Paw in school, a story that terrified me. The story tells the tragic tale of a man who wishes for – among other things – enough money to pay off his house. His son is killed the next day, leaving him with just enough insurance money to pay off his house.
Talk about an unforgettable story.
Anyway, when I was blogging last week about my resolution to BACK OFF and let my kids be who they are, I also said a few prayers. I really want to change, to be less fearful and more able to go with the flow.
The next day, I went to church. On the bulletin, a blurb caught my eye about an upcoming 10-week series of meetings:
“Adults and children alike thrive in healthy, loving relationships. Come and learn how to rise above anxiety, manipulation, control and conflict…”
I know I am more anxious and controlling than most people. I also know that being aware of my problem has cost me plenty of money and time in self-help books, courses by the experts, and other assorted therapies. I’m not sure that any of them have done a bit of good, but I do spend a lot of time now apologizing for my behavior.
And I’m not sure this church thing is going to help, either. Still, it’s so obvious to me that this group is meant for me. I said a prayer – and up popped this group.
I hate groups. I don’t like socializing and I’m honestly not that fond of many people. I always worry far too much that I am bothering them when I speak. (This goes for the whole world, actually.) I’m nervous and anxious and a bit resentful about the whole thing already… although that’s exactly why I’m going to register for the group.
I just wanted to announce that I’m doing it – so that I don’t back out – and note that my prayer was answered. And now I’m doing something I don’t want to do, in order to get what I said I wanted. It may even help, but who knows?
So now I am scared. “Be careful what you pray for.”