I can pray for God’s kingdom to come, but the next line is more difficult, “Your will be done…” I think many will agree these words are easy to say, but harder to pray if we sincerely intend to follow wherever they lead.
Diversions come in two forms: planned and unplanned. When we plan a diversion we are usually ready to accept the responsibility for whatever may unfold as a result of altering our original plan. That is because we are in control, or at least that is what we want to think, but what about unplanned diversions where we aren’t making the course change?
Diversions we don’t initiate and are out of our control can produce different emotional responses: like caution, doubt, discomfort, fear, and even anger. To state it plainly, most of us do not do well when things get out of our control.
For example, almost all young boys are adventurers. My sons were no exception. They enjoyed exploring and using their imaginations. As a result, they often wandered out of the immediate yard when the opportunity arose. We didn’t get overly concerned because they had 30 acres to roam on. Sure they could fall from a tree limb and break an arm, get stung by a wasp, or get into poison ivy, but there was not much danger of abduction or a stray bullet from a drive by shooting. Still when they were small we kept them close so we could get to them quickly if there was a need.
One day when my sons were still very young and our house was under construction, I arrived home expecting to find the usual carpenters cutting and nailing lumber and finishing up the framework on the house and the boys playing in the yard in front of the mobile home where we lived while the house was being built. Instead I drove up to see my wife with that very concerned mom expression on her face and the construction workers searching the field, pond, and the woods for our youngest son. As soon as I got out of the car she said, “We can’t find Benjamin!”
I immediately began calling his name along with the others. Within seconds three year old Benjamin appeared at the edge of the woods with a bewildered look on his face as he attempted to figure out why everyone was so frantically calling his name. In his mind he merely went for a little walk in the woods. No big deal. He had decided on an innocent diversion and headed for the woods. He was okay because he controlled his own diversion, but everyone else was nervous because the situation was out of their control.
Diversions can frustrate things because we like being in control of our environment and our future. Most of us are uncomfortable with change unless we initiate it, and if we’re honest most of us want things done our way. Period. That is why praying this part of the prayer does not come easily and sometimes is downright unsettling.
More in next week’s blog as we dive a bit deeper into the realm of the unknown when we pray: “Your will be done.”