PUSH, an acronym standing for “Pray Until Something Happens.” I am an ardent acronym advocate. I enjoy being creative and coming up with ways that aren’t always super obvious to help me retain information and stay focused on what’s important. But, there’s something about this phrase that irks my soul. Maybe it’s the childish rebel in me seeking expression, attempting to stray from my Catholic roots just because I can. Maybe I’m misinterpreting the phrase or maybe it just isn’t worded thoroughly enough for me to take it and run with it. Whatever the reason, when I hear someone say, “PUSH,” and offer it as a solution to balancing the lows in life, I cringe and get the urge to distance myself. The mindset you have to be in to believe in that phrase, as it’s written, is one I want no parts of. I find it ironic that a word of action is used to represent a seemingly complacent mindset. Pray until something happens, and then what? Pray for something else to happen and just repeat the cycle? When do we actually do something?
Here’s my favorite example of “PUSH”:
A terrible storm came into a town and local officials sent out an emergency warning that the riverbanks would soon overflow and flood the nearby homes. They ordered everyone in the town to evacuate immediately.
A faithful Christian man heard the warning and decided to stay, saying to himself, “I will trust God and if I am in danger, then God will send a divine miracle to save me.”
The neighbors came by his house and said to him, “We’re leaving and there is room for you in our car, please come with us!” But the man declined. “I have faith that God will save me.”
As the man stood on his porch watching the water rise up the steps, a man in a canoe paddled by and called to him, “Hurry and come into my canoe, the waters are rising quickly!” But the man again said, “No thanks, God will save me.”
The flood waters rose higher pouring water into his living room and the man had to retreat to the second floor. A police motorboat came by and saw him at the window. “We will come up and rescue you!” they shouted. But the man refused, waving them off saying, “Use your time to save someone else! I have faith that God will save me!”
The flood waters rose higher and higher and the man had to climb up to his rooftop.
A helicopter spotted him and dropped a rope ladder. A rescue officer came down the ladder and pleaded with the man, “Grab my hand and I will pull you up!” But the man STILL refused, folding his arms tightly to his body. “No thank you! God will save me!”
Shortly after, the house broke up and the flood waters swept the man away and he drowned.
When in Heaven, the man stood before God and asked, “I put all of my faith in You. Why didn’t You come and save me?”
And God said, “Son, I sent you a warning. I sent you a car. I sent you a canoe. I sent you a motorboat. I sent you a helicopter. What more were you looking for?”
(“God Will Save Me”, not sure of the author)
In no way am I saying prayer is wrong, I pray often. What I’m getting at is the fact that circumstances always change and things always happen. At some point we must respond. Just because things aren’t happening the way you envisioned, don’t just sit back and watch life happen. After you pray, pay attention to what life is showing you. If you don’t like what you see, pray and then make something happen. I can’t pray that I lose 15lbs and expect the weight to evaporate into thin air. I must change my diet and become more active, doing my part to help the scales tip in my favor. Prayer must be joined with action to be successful.
What are you praying for? How can you be more active in breathing life to your vision?
– Don’t Ever Say Impossible