Friday, May 22, 2009

Faith Enough

Last night I prayed, sincerely, for the first time in half a decade. I prayed to a god that most days I'm not even sure exists. And even if it does, I hardly think that it's in this god's nature to heed prayer and grant wishes. But I prayed, and, like most prayers made by people who only have faith enough to believe in a god when it's convenient, my prayer was desperate and selfish.

I prayed as I've been taught, by asking for something and then offering up the sins I'm ready to repent. This is a strange vision of the economy of prayers: God grants us the things we request in exchange for a few paltry mea culpas. It doesn't seem like a reasonable exchange or a sound investment -- heaven's own sub-prime lending scheme.

I've eschewed dogmatic, institutional sins, preferring to believe that my character flaws will suffice in their place. My sins include Lacking Humility, Being Irresponsible, and Indulging in Anger. I confessed the sins I knew I'd committed; the one's I've yet to realize will have to wait.

In exchange I asked for Peace of Mind, Perseverance, and Contentment. And a job that pays rent.

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