Praying and staying between the lines on the high road of life

Two muses inspired today’s few hundred words of my truth.

Recently, I had the good fortune to hear from a longtime friend and former newspaper colleague with whom I’ve not done a great job of keeping in touch.

“I am proud of you,” this friend said. “You are one of the brave who had enough courage to reinvent yourself, move on … and not become some embittered back-bencher who would seem to simultaneously hate and miss (your old) world … you are among the few who stand out in my mind as intentionally taking a higher road.”

In reality, those words sometimes have been truer than they have been at other times when it comes to my former career and the company for which I worked more than 20 years. But even though they are perhaps too kind, they are still much appreciated. I thanked my friend and then decided to share them after hearing Praying, the first song released in four years by Kesha.

Anyone who knows me even in passing, knows I’m much closer on the musical spectrum to Merle Haggard or Johnny Cash than I ever will be to Kesha, the 30-year-old American singer, songwriter, rapper, and occasional actress. It’s unlikely I could name or even recognize anything else she has recorded. But even though I’m not even close to her core demographic, I can still recognize a great message when I hear it. And Praying is it. Check out the lyrics.

Without being preachy, praying is becoming a bigger part of my life. I’ve been trying to be a better Christian. It always will be a struggle, but I’ve come to a few conclusions.

For starters, there is no such thing as an unanswered prayer. God is always listening. He also responds, but just maybe in ways that we don’t like or immediately recognize. It’s at our lowest times – when someone close to us dies, we lose a job or get divorced – that we are most likely to learn and grow. That’s because God is trying to catch our attention. He knows we’re human and likely wouldn’t listen when we think everything is going our way.

Or maybe it’s just me and I’m too thick-headed and stubborn for my own good. But I don’t think so. Just today, I learned that something in which I had placed a lot of hope isn’t going to happen. At least it’s not going to happen immediately and I’m going to have to work some more and wait awhile longer.

That’s OK. Life is too short to waste any of it on anger and worry over things for which we have no control. And good things are worth working and waiting for, so that’s what I’ll continue to do.

In other words, I’ll keep praying – not for the things I want and have not yet received. No, I’ll keep praying for help keeping my life between the lines on the high road, which never will be easy and I’ll always need divine help as I bumble along.