since i’m blogging these prayers, i should probably try and use the format to my advantage. i mean that these prayers can be a little more focused but still allow me to try and work through my feelings about you. so for right now i’m taking my prayer-starting points from songs that remind me of you. i think you, god, will be down with this approach. as you know, the title of this prayer comes from a line in “the other side of mt. heart attack” by liars. last time i listened to this song i thought the song was a sign from you about you. maybe i’m reading too much into the song, but whatever. also, if i title my prayers after song lyrics i can always continue my prayers extending similar themes but don’t feel pressured to put everything i’m thinking into one prayer. i can’t pray all the time. but you know that.
i used to hate the ideas of signs from you, god. maybe it’s because of the church i grew up in, but the signs always seemed trite. maybe not trite but definitely obnoxious. again, a bad word choice. allow me to work through this. in church i used to hear story after story about people receiving signs from you–spiritual confirmations that the book of mormon is true, dreams about dead people coming to visit the grieving, premonitions while driving that save people from car crashes, manifestations about who you should marry or where you should work or who you should choose as your second counselor. these are all fine and good and i don’t doubt that people really have these types of experiences (whether they’re from you or some sort of physiological response i don’t know and i doubt it matters), but seem so obvious. these signs fit too naturally with what the people who receive these signs already think about you. i have a hard time buying that. as far as i can tell, if you exist you’re so far beyond human comprehension that whatever we believe about you almost certainly has to be false. so why would you give us signs that confirm our false conceptions about you?
but maybe you give people the signs they expect simply because they expect them. what’s the point in undermining the incorrect things we think about you when we’re not even going to understand what you really are and what you really are all about? but then you have everything else in life undermining these conceptions everyone has about you. it’s like you give us these signs that point towards you being a fair, just and merciful god while the rest of life is totally absurd and amoral. are signs meant to ground our faith in a god that makes sense even though life isn’t making sense? you expect me to simply have faith in a fair god from a couple of coincidences? or is it simply that you know we’re aren’t going to understand you so you let us and help us believe whatever we want about you? that sounds nice but i think it’s problematic. if whatever we believe about you is fine, who is responsible when those beliefs about you hurt other people? your so-called word has been the justification for slavery and inquisitions and genocides. and in all those instances people maintained political and economic control citing your will as justification. the point being that i feel like if any belief i’m going to have about you is going to be legitimate for me i need to explore signs that challenge how i feel about you.
but i’ll get into those signs later.