19 September, 2010

PUSH

"...always pray and not give up.."-Luke 18:1
"I am really worried about her. She doesn't socialize with the rest of the horses in her group. It's as if she has lost interest in everything she used to enjoy doing. I mean, I used to catch her alone sometimes but I just thought that she needed some space, some down time, away from the younger horses. But now, look at her, doesn't she look depressed? She prefers to stand alone in the far corner of the pasture, away from all the other horses." said my friend, as she agonized over her broodmare. "Do you think she is not happy anymore?" she asked. "The vet has seen her a few times and has run blood workups but he can't seem to find anything wrong with her. Nothing. She's healthy and in great shape. I wondered over her diet and whether the grain I was feeding her was causing the mood change, so I changed it to a low glycemic feed, thinking she might be suffering from some type of withdrawal, sort of like what happens to people when they haven't had their morning coffee. I've tried a few nutraceuticals, hoping for some kind of a change but between the new feed and the supplements, nothing's worked like I had hoped and she still looks so sad, so withdrawn. I need a break. No, I take that back. I need a miracle. I know this sounds crazy but I have an animal communicator coming here tomorrow, for a session." she blurted out, while holding back the tears. "I don't think that's crazy Maria," I said and continued  "from what I have heard, it sounds like you might just find out what's bothering her and then, help her get better." We talked a little more about her mare and a few other things and pretty soon, it was time to go home. "Call me and let me know what the communicator finds out about your mare. I'm worried, it doesn't look or sound good." I said, as I backed my car out of her driveway and drove away.

As I pulled into the parking lot, I could tell from the number of parked cars that mass would be quite full and it would be difficult to find a good place to "hide". No matter how hard I try, to get my chores done in time so that I can leave my home with enough time to arrive early, time has a way of just evaporating. What seems like five minutes becomes twenty. Is that even possible? I opened the door and found the perfect spot in the second to the last pew and quietly whispered, "excuse me" and scooted far over to the right, embarrassed that I was bothering the poor people who were already in the midst of their worship. The gospel reading this morning was one of my favorite parables: the widow and the unjust judge: A poor woman who is widowed seeks justice from a judge who was corrupt and unfair. The widow is poor, she is female and lacks the socio-economic standing she needs, to attract the attention of the powerful judge. All of what she is, works against her. She is vulnerable and defenseless. However, she remains strong, patient and through her perseverance, the widow finally gets the judge to grant her the justice that she repeatedly sought from him but had not been successful in receiving. She wore the judge down! He wanted her to get off his back!

GO AWAY! LEAVE ME IN PEACE WOMAN!

The unjust judge who was cold, hard, unfeeling as if he were made of stone would prove to be no opponent for an old, poor woman with great faith in God. Maybe his stony heart would even change too.

In his sermon, our priest gave us an acronym to use in our daily life. He told us when we are discouraged, when we are stressed, when we are overwhelmed by anxiety, fear or worry, we need to

PUSH

Pray until something happens.
Sam'i Allahu liman hamidah, Rabbana wa lakal hamd...God hears those who call upon Him; our Lord, praise be to you.-(part of the Islamic daily prayers, which Muslims pray five times per day! Imagine if we praised God like this every day!)
God wants to hear our prayers. Prayer is the only way we have to communicate with Him. Prayer humbles us, lets us know that we really need God. Through prayer, we acknowledge that God is in control of our lives and not us. Life, as we know it today, has gotten very intense. I know so many people who are really struggling economically,  not to "get ahead"...just to "get by". If EVER there was a time to pray, TODAY is a powerful reason to start praying.
"If there's a problem that you cannot solve
and the more try, you get deeper involved
if in your mind, there is no peace
and you want to put your heart at ease
here's a solution at what you should do
get your knees and pray until you get through
Pray, Pray until something happens
that's what you got to do."-lyrics by Dottie Peoples
So, maybe, when it becomes dark and scary, our worries like a pressure cooker, reaching the boiling point, it's a good time to do what Father Kris told us.

PUSH...pray until something happens.

The communicator visited my friend's mare but was not able to "talk" to the mare. Which disappointed my friend, who had her heart set on learning what troubled her dear friend.

BUT

My friend received an answer that she was not expecting and which, has changed her life forever. A little filly spoke instead with the communicator the next morning. She told the communicator how much she likes carrots with the "long green flowers". She told the communicator how much she liked to be scratched behind her left ear. She told the communicator alot of things, like how good the sun feels on her back, how much she enjoys the cardinal's songs and how soft the grass feels in the morning, however, it was what she told the communicator next, about my friend's mare, that shocked everyone that day.

"Markie, do you know the mare that is standing over there, in the far corner of the pasture?" the communicator asked. "which mare, oh, you mean the praying mare?" the filly responded. The communicator puzzled by the filly's answer, asked her, "what do you mean by 'the praying mare'?" "I mean that the mare over there prays alot. Non-stop. She prays to God for her human, so that she remains safe  from the evil forces that are trying to attack her. She prays for us too, that we may grow up to fulfill our destiny. It's hard being a horse these days" said the filly, matter of factly.
"Stop right there!"-lyrics by Jim Steinman
So, the mare wasn't sick and she wasn't depressed. She was busy. She was praying. The Bedouin-bred war mare continues to wage war on a spiritual battlefield. She is a prayer warrior. She knows God...really well.

The praying mare.

The persistent widow.

IT'S TIME TO START PUSHING.
"We have courage in God's presence, because we are sure that He hears us if we ask Him for anything that is according to His will."-1 John 5:14
When I became a father, my understanding of God deepened and so did my relationship with Him. In my role, it was only then that I really understood what it means to be a father and the love a father feels for his children. So, today, when you are feeling frayed, tired, frustrated, upset...DON'T GIVE UP...reach out to your heavenly father, call Him, ask Him for help. Pray. You might just be surprised over the miracles that may begin to happen in your life.
Allahu Akbar...God is most great.-(part of the Islamic daily prayers, which Muslims pray five times per day! Imagine if we praised God like this every day!)
Hang tough and PUSH,
Ralph

4 comments:

Lynn said...

Ralph, this is a beautiful post and speaks a message that I try to convey at different times. Horses, like most animals (save humans...) both know and enjoy the role God gives them. The praying mare is a wonderful message. Even when humans drop the ball we can always depend on horses to be noble, faithful, and obedient to their Creator.
Blessings,
Lynn Baber

Judi said...

Ralph, this message went right to my heart....thank you!
Judi Parks

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much Ralph! Recent deaths in my family and a move to a very different lifestyle, and a sister with a liver mass--yes, I will PUSH! Horses are so extraordinary and so is your blog! :) Michele Campbell

Carol Maginn said...

Thank you Ralph for the message from God to PUSH. It was extremely appropriate and I'm so glad you made the effort to get the word out to everyone....

Carol