Have you ever noticed how our prayers often revolve around building our little corner of the world? ‘Lord, please bless my…’ ‘Lord, increase my…’ ‘Lord, give me more…’
Perhaps we don’t see ourselves as this bold and presumptious, but it often turns out this way. I know many of my prayers ask (tell?) God to improve my situation. Remember the big thing a few years back was the ‘Prayer of Jabez,’ the book that encouraged readers to seek to ‘expand’ their own personal universe?
The words of John the Baptist are telling. ‘He must increase, I must decrease.’ John was not asking for expansion but a downscaling; not a promotion but a demotion.
The trouble is, God takes John up on the request. Not more than a few verses later, poor John’s head is severed like a conejo. St. Teresa of Avila questioned the Lord as to why she had to endure the suffering she did to which the Lord replied, “Teresa, that’s how I treat my friends” Teresa responded, “No wonder you have so few friends.”
What would Jabez say? The trouble with these blasted saints is that they are lousy at selling books.