Yesterday, I realized I had gotten behind on the reading I am supposed to do for an online class. So, I stopped my scheduled work to cram. It turned out to be a wonderful gift to my hope-starved soul.
In the book I read, the author invites the reader to explore discernment involving two phases of prayer. The first phase she called, the “prayer of indifference.” It caught me off guard. Indifferent? How can being indifferent be ethical in a time of great fear?
Actually, it meant to be indifferent to anything but the will of God. It was letting go of what you think should be done and embracing your own limitations. Our wisdom is often tied to our selfish desires, what we want in the end. Indifference lets go of self interest and embraces that we don’t know the answer.
Once the person praying has accepted their limitations, then comes the “prayer for wisdom.” Having let go of our limited wisdom, our hearts are open to receive the boundless wisdom of God. It all started to make sense to me.
Yesterday another police shooting video hit the internet. Truthfully, the video captured the volatility driving our culture right now. Fear is leading all of us on a destructive course. I want to be angry, but my heart is too sad for all involved to muster enough energy to be mad. I found it easy to accept my limited wisdom. I don’t have any answers.
This morning the disciples ask Jesus to teach them to pray. This prayer of discernment provided a helpful guide. Pray for indifference. Put aside liberal, conservative, Republican, Democrat, racial, social, economic outcome expectations. Accept your limitations and pray for God’s wisdom. Pray, “This day, Lord, what would you have me do?” Then listen for the answer. (Lk 11:1-13)