Then he told them a parable about the necessity for them to pray always without becoming weary.He said, “There was a judge in a certain town who neither feared God nor respected any human being. And a widow in that town used to come to him and say, ‘Render a just decision for me against my adversary.’ For a long time the judge was unwilling, but eventually he thought, ‘While it is true that I neither fear God nor respect any human being, because this widow keeps bothering me I shall deliver a just decision for her lest she finally come and strike me.’” The Lord said, “Pay attention to what the dishonest judge says. Will not God then secure the rights of his chosen ones who call out to him day and night? Will he be slow to answer them? I tell you, he will see to it that justice is done for them speedily. But when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?” – Luke 18: 1-8
Part of success is being willing to ask for the same thing over and over. It’s tough.
I go to an audition. I sing for an inscrutable panel. I am told they’re not interested (or they just don’t call). I see another audition notice. I sing for the same panel again. I think “how about this time, guys? Will you hire me this time?”
You apply for a job. You don’t hear anything. You apply again. You get an interview. You don’t hear anything. You wait. You email. You call. You say “how about this time, guys? Will you hire me this time?”
I remember for year or more, praying the same thing, night after night: Lord, help me to be good. What I meant, in more detail, was “help me to shut my mean mouth. Help me to be positive. Help me not to be depressed and take that out on other people and myself. Help me to be helpful.” And the next night I would pray: Lord, I really stank at being good today…Lord, help me to be good.
And I’m still not sure I’m good, but after five years or so I realized I was better.
No change or progress happens overnight, I’m learning. We try to “trust in the slow work of God“. But we don’t sit idly by while we wait. We try, and ask, then ask again, believing God will deliver the goodness prepared for us, even if only because we’ve been such a bother.
[…] I still have virtues and vices, but I’ve spent nearly ten years trying to tame my vices and enhance my virtues. With no dramatic conversion I have had to do the hard, boring work of asking every night “God, make me better. God, make me good.” […]