19 Sep

The praying mantis


I have come to realize a repetitive call to action in my life. I respond to it at times better than others. Nonetheless, the call to pray is real and repetitive.

I am often reminded of this call during my waking hours, my busy work schedule and the stillness of the night.

It is a quiet whisper that reminds me power awaits me when I pray. I am never more powerful than when on my knees praying.

This is not easy for a man of action. You could say I like getting things done. When I am idle I feel bridled! I may not be poetry in motion, and more like a bull in a china closet, but one thing is for sure, I like action.

For me, prayer often feels passive. But the more I do it, the more I come to realize it is anything but. When I really pray, prayer wears me out! It is exhausting. I end up feeling like I’m calling down fire and thunder from heaven like an opera singer bringing the house down. Sometimes I even suffer from sweaty opera singer syndrome. Isn’t that why they sing with a hankie? Anyway, you get the idea.

Recently I was up and out at the crack of dawn. As I turned the ignition key on my car and looked out my front windshield I blinked to make sure I wasn’t dreaming. There before my eyes was a happy little praying mantis. It was as if he too had gotten up early. Was he saying his prayers and locked and loaded for another day?

The call to action was obvious and making its appearance once again. It was if the Lord was saying, “The mantis is praying. Are you a praying man?”

I decided to have a little fun with the little bug and backed out of the driveway anxious to see how long he could hang in there on his knees.

I hit 10 m.p.h. Nothing. Thirty m.p.h. Nothing still! I was tempted to hit the windshield wipers but instead I gunned the vehicle to nearly 60 m.p.h. Nothing! The faster I drove the more he hunkered down in his Tim Teebow stance seemingly determined to draw on supernatural powers to sustain him through the strong headwinds.

Amazingly he made the three mile ride with me all the way to the coffee shop. It was then that I decided to snap his neck. I’m kidding! I snapped his photo on my cell phone and headed in for my hour long meeting.

By the time I had put down breakfast and a few cups of java it was time to leave. As I approached the car I was reminded of my little windshield  buddy. He wasn’t there but long gone. At least so I thought!

We wasn’t on the windshield he was now on the roof of my car and once again in a prayer posture as if to say, “Buddy, I’m sticking around to pray over you. Your driving is horrendous!”

What would you have done?  I jumped in and floored it! I can testify that being stalked by a praying mantis is just plain creepy!

He must have gotten the hint because by the time I arrived at my next destination he had disappeared. I was almost sad but was certain I had been called to action once again.

When life’s headwinds get strong, pray! When life seems to be going nowhere, pray! Scared? Pray! Lonely? Pray! Happy? Pray!

Any occasion is an occasion to pray. Take it from me, a praying man and a friendly praying mantis who taught me how to pray, there is power in prayer. It’s where the action is!

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