Last weekend, my teenage daughter and I watched a backlog of recorded “American Idol” episodes then topped it off with recent “Amazing Race” episodes. In incredibly intense moments, some people will resort to anything to get a leg up on the competition….even prayer! Even if they seem like the most unlikely folks to pray in ANY situation, let alone in a thoroughly selfish, win at all costs, sort of way. But here they are – talking to God – hoping He’ll be on their side…
Choose me! Me! Me! Pick me! Here I am!
I’ve been known to pray for miniscule inconveniences a time or two in my life – like lost keys, lost wallet, lost savings bonds… typical for me. BUT, I mostly realize that God is a busy guy. As much as He loves me and I’m sure understands my organizational limitations, I’m pretty sure He has more noble and important problems to solve than help me get out of the holes I continue to dig for myself!
But it never fails to fascinate me to see the different ways we invoke our rights to whisper a prayer of help to the Almighty. Especially when it involves prayer for something seemingly frivolous LIKE… our favorite teams or players to WIN.
I have done my share of praying for the Los Angeles Dodgers. But, darn it all - they still do their own thing, regardless of what I pray!
I also admit to praying for that extra burst of speed that my daughter would need to finish 10th in her ski race and win a medal - instead of 11th and be off the podium and down in the dumps. If my daughter wins 10th, what am I wishing on the other girl who finishes 11th? Not my problem, right? I don’t have to drive down the mountain after the race with that poor unlucky, unblessed girl – the Lord finally came through for us – ha!
So I witnessed two praying situations on these “reality” shows this weekend. One was a group of three wanna-be “Idols” who spent their group audition rehearsal in a roller coaster of fighting and crying. They never got past their differences to work as a team for the greater good of ALL of them. Right before they went before the judges, they joined hands and had a quick prayer for God to “bring them together.”
Hmmmm… I wonder what God thought of that one!
On “Amazing Race” – contestants were getting reading to paraglide off of a mountain when the wind picked up, making it unsafe to jump. All of the contestants, save one, opted to run down the mountain to their clue an hour away - just in case the wind didn’t ever cooperate. The remaining contestant couldn’t run down the mountain with a recently pulled groin and had to watch the wind flags blow and hope he would have a chance to fly.
If he didn’t fly, his team would lose for sure.
He did not want to disappoint his partner, his son, but running down the mountain would be his undoing. He alluded to the fact that he’d like to pray to God for the wind to die down, but said he didn’t really believe in praying for God to give him an advantage over anyone else. So he didn’t pray, even though he felt completely helpless.
The trio of praying singers on “American Idol” had a sub-par performance at best with the instigator of the angst sent packing. And yet, our “Amazing Race” contestant was rewarded for his praying restraint with a lull in the wind and a window of opportunity to a beautiful flight over a quaint German countryside down to his proud son – beating the majority of the runners down the mountain!
So what is it?
Of course, I have no idea, but it is something I’m always wondering. Call it karma, call it faith in your fellow man, call it the power of prayer, call it destiny, or fate, but whatever you call it…
…I’m always wondering if maybe, just maybe God did have a hand in it.