Keep on Shuffling…

1-10By Lu Mountenay of Independence, Missouri, USA

Then Jesus told them a parable about their need to pray always and not to lose heart.

—Luke 18:1

When my 5-year-old granddaughter, Samantha, was babysitting me, she decided we would play cards. After about 30 games of “Go Fish” I was beginning to lose focus. My eyes were glazing, and I went into a daze with a fixed smile on my face.

Soon I heard Sama give a deep sigh and patiently say, “You know Grandma, if you keep shuffling those cards, they’ll be right back where they started!”

She was perfectly serious, but the humor of what she said jolted me back to reality. I began thinking about what Sama had said and how true it might be. I thought of other situations where her “theory” could apply.

Have you ever seen people attempt to parallel park a car with perfection? They pull into the spot and decide they are too far from the curb. They pull out and try again. The next time they might be a little crooked, so they pull out again. They get a “yo-yo” thing going. On the last attempt they are satisfied (or give up), and—you guessed it—they are back in the same position where they started! And it really doesn’t matter, after all.

There is a time when it does matter. When I pray, I often start with, “…here I am again, God…same old sinner, right back on my knees where I started.” I have to begin every prayer with an apology because I haven’t talked with God in a while. God is patient with me, like my granddaughter. And you know, if I didn’t know before my prayer that I am forgiven, would I ever come back to that same place? But I do know, and I do come back. And it’s like a new and awesome place.

My friend, John Bonney, said, “How many corners can one turn before coming back to where one started? It depends on the degree of turning, I would guess.”

What we call the beginning is often the end and to make an end is to make a beginning. The end is where we start from…We will not cease from exploration and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started And know the place for the first time…

—T. S. Eliot
Little Gidding


Prayer for Peace
Eternal God, here we are again, back where we started. May we grow in your Spirit as Christ’s disciples. We pray we have matured to where we can share Christ’s peace.

Spiritual Practice: Your Relationship with the Divine
Contemplate where you have been in your relationship with the Divine, and where you want to be. Are you surprised by the depth of your connection?

Peace Covenant
Today, God, I will return only to what matters most.

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  1. Walt Bernacki

     /  10 January 2013

    Sorry, the comment went out before I had fully edited it. Case in point, “Don’t be too hasty when posting a solution.”

  2. Walt Bernacki

     /  10 January 2013

    Many times I find that when a group of people are asked to solve a particularly thorny problem, like trying to figure out why someone at work took a very circuitous route to solving what seems to me a fairly logical sequence of steps, some problem-solvers journey into this seemingly ovey complex the silution is not easily arrived at. However, this person bose a much more complex solution, which still arrived at the right answer but employed a much more complex series of steps than I would have usedbto arriv at the answer


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