Author Howard Hendricks remembers greeting a man as Texans normally do, asking, “How are you?” Week after week he replied, “Okay I guess, under the circumstances.” Hendricks grew weary of the man’s self-pity. The next time he heard him whimper, “Under the circumstances,” he asked, “Well, what are you doing under there?”
An important connection between your circumstances and one famous, ancient prayer can help you get out from under them. The ritual of covering the same ground with the same prayer each morning may not have any obvious benefit. Nevertheless, we make our habits and then our habits make us.
Any of us can fall into the habit of orienting life around our circumstances. They become the lens through which we see everything else. A small change of routine can reveal our great loss of perspective. Maybe a few days of vacation improves your attitude towards work. Perhaps a problem you cannot solve unlocks after a good night’s sleep. Upon reflection your limitations become clear.
The Lord’s Prayer helps clear-up nine, common blindspots.
- When you lose sight of the “why” behind life and lose hope that “it” is not just an “it;” (Our Father, who art in heaven)
- When you ignore the gradual slide towards emotional and ethical flabbiness, and start regarding nobility as quaint or naive; (hallowed be Thy name)
- When nothing seems sublime, and the weight of your influence has fizzled; (Thy kingdom come)
- When you fail to see any benefit to what life happens to be offering; (Thy will be done on earth as in heaven)
- When you stop noticing simple gifts, dwelling on past disappointments or future uncertainties; (Give us this day our daily bread)
- When you view people with distrust, casting them in the shadow of your own heart of darkness; (Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors)
- When you regard your appetites as big and your purpose as small; (Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil)
- When you see yourself as your own authority and then wonder why you feel lonely; (For Thine is the Kingdom, and the Power, and the Glory, forever)
- When you view faith as something powered by your own steam instead of regarding God is faithful, even when we are faithless; (Pray: Amen).