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Calming the "Why" by Summer Intern Morgan Haefner
July 31, 2014

I decided around 4 p.m. to take a sick day, or rather, sick evening from Wednesday Night Worship. As the summer is winding down, I couldn’t help but sigh a “why” as I sat at home, choosing to keep the congregation healthy and my body restful. I guess it was the right decision, since I fell asleep at around 6:30 p.m. and woke up around 10:30 p.m.

Instead of basking in my four hours of rest, I jolted awake to the sound of heavy rain and wind. I groaned a “why” as I rolled out of bed and sat in the living room. To my disappointment, my mind began racing and I couldn’t fall back asleep. “Why now,” I thought. Then, I remembered my alarm, set to wake me at 5:45 a.m. I bet you can only image my resounding complaint.

It was during these moments of self-pity and frustration I contemplated writing a small prayer for myself and placing it in my prayer box. The only problem is I felt unjust in doing such an act, seeing as I rarely take my big prayers to God, let alone a small prayer for good health. I decided to keep to myself and not send my seemingly small complaints and needs to a higher power.

Looking back on this now, I think about my consistent “whys” and contemplate my reasoning behind not seeking God when I first thought “why.” The reason, I now know, is because I didn’t think my prayer to God was good enough compared to the other words entering his ear.

This realization reminded me of a passage from Daring Greatly, the book the interns are reading as a group this summer. The passage, from Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project, reads:

“I remind myself, ‘Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good.’ (Cribbed from Voltaire). A twenty-minute walk that I do is better than the four-mile run that I don’t do. The imperfect book that gets published is better than the perfect book that never leaves my computer. The dinner party of take-out Chinese food is better than the elegant dinner that I never host.”

In other words, the small prayer you put in the prayer box is better than the extravagant prayer you never speak.

The fault in seeing our actions and ourselves as “not good enough” is we never take the leap to actually act. This impedes our courage and ultimately lets our “whys” go unanswered.

I challenge myself and others this week to calms your “whys” and rest them in simple actions such as writing your thoughts in a journal, calling a friend or adding a note to the prayer box. These simple actions may not seem abounding, but the ones that follow will be.

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