The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Coach Sonnon's Prayer

My very dear friend Scott Sonnon just posted this on his board at

This is Scott's heart.  To me, it is this kind of spiritual thought--on the part of warriors--that can lead us out of the current darkness.  I genuinely love this man. 

I pray today because I am so sublimely grateful for this opportunity to have one more day to experience this enormity, this monumental blessing of being able to be healthy and fit and happy and loved. I pray because my family gets to experience an exuberant life, because my children beam with vitality, love and confidence in themselves and their strengths, because my wife loves me despite my ubiquitous shortcomings and my snail's pace growth, and because she challenges me to grow more and more far beyond what I thought I was capable so much that I feel I might burst. I pray because my brothers and sisters in our community here teach me so, so, so much every day and I feel each and every ounce of effort that you put forth to become healthier, stronger, better people. How could I possible pray enough to express my gratitude for all of this???

I pray because I cannot fathom how I could by some apparent geographical jackpot get to have such a privileged life, because the food I get to eat is in such abundance and such richness that I ask for forgiveness for such bountifulness. I pray for help to know how I can take from the world only that which I need, and yet accept abundance in my life when I am given some beautiful adornment as a present from my wife like shoes which cost enough to feed another family for a month.

I pray for guidance in understanding that I help people become healthy and fit because we live in a society so glutted with nutrient-empty fodder and such emotional masochism that we actually have to worry about becoming obese. I pray for help to know the right step to take, in knowing what is essential for my contribution, what will help our organization to grow responsibly, to help people just enough that it doesn't hurt others, because a business can grow so rapidly that it outstrips itself and hurts others more than it helps.

I pray to learn how to responsibly spend my monetary energy as a consumer so that I am helping the economy one dollar at a time; to resist the shortsightedness of hording my resources in the event of "something bad." I pray to know how to make these hard-right decisions, and to keep my awareness in even the smallest choices, like spending an extra two dollars on bacon made from free-range turkey who were not pumped full of chemicals and tortured in cages too small. I pray to know how to invest in the best choice of product, even if that is the most expensive option, because that will last the longest with the least disrepair so that I am contributing positively not only to the economy but to the environment as well. I pray to be a positive, responsible, active consumer and thus contribute to our way of life, and all of the wonders it affords us like I've already prayed for and will again tomorrow.

I pray that I am helping share my education appropriately so that I both learn from those medical professionals who have such miraculous abilities to help us heal ourselves and teach them how to integrate their skills in an overarching model of wellness lifestyles. I pray with gut wrenching thanks for not having to live in pain and with disease, and to know how I can best be of service to those poor souls who do and because of their courageous suffrage are my betters.

I pray that my government officials will hold themselves accountable for immoral decisions and actions, even if I would have had to make similar decisions would I have been in their shoes. I pray that my government is telling me the right amount of truth and not withholding an inappropriate amount of the truth in order to take advantage of my family. I pray that when the truth is fully disclosed that my compatriots respect that hard decisions need to be made, and still hold those responsible accountable for immoral crimes.

I pray that in this global chaos that I am never called to fight by my government for a cause I know in my heart to be unjust. I pray that I am never called away from my family to kill in the name of a cause I do not understand, because I pray that I never become good at it as I may be, or worse that I would become not repulsed by it and become self-righteous, for that would be the most emotional torture I can imagine. I pray to never have to decide between a righteous enemy and an unrighteous brother. I pray that I will never have to know how to to hold myself accountable for allowing a government official to misrepresent me, my family and my compatriots.

I pray with more love than I can muster for my compatriots, some of whom I've never met, who fight for our way of life, because they do. I pray that we are able to take the right courses of action to ensure that our way of life is guaranteed because in my heart I know that we are on the cusp of spiritual transformation, a chrysalis which could be crushed if we succumb to omnipresent fear of imminent attack from every side, every day. I pray that my government officials are able to create a solution beyond my comprehension which will ensure our social welfare, and protect us without infringing upon the lives of other cultures on other shores. I pray that we are not unwittingly experiencing abundance at the price of food from the table of another family with a father who looks desperately at his crying, hungry, fear-ridden children.

I pray that the religious leaders of the world will set aside any institutionally-specific doctrine just to the extent to realize that the common denominator in all religions is love, and like the love of your most intimate, your spouse, you give them the benefit of the doubt even if your most sensitive button has been pushed, that they have done so innocently, accidentally or with temporary ignorance. I pray that I never find that I have prejudiced someone because they have done something so repugnant to me that I lose that love; I pray I never must hold myself accountable for acting out of fear and hate. I pray that I never have to decide between my family remembering me because I protected them by committing an immoral crime or them remembering me as the cause of their injury, impoverishment or death because out of love I withheld action. God, I pray that I never need to choose, and I pray for the wisdom and the strength of the fathers who must.

I pray with such dire desperation that we will be granted the grace to love one another and express our eternal gratitude for all of the blessings we are given each moment, even this humble, if not trite attempt to share my gratitude with any who would suffer through reading my prayer.

Today, I pray because like no other time in my life we stand at the edge of the abyss and despite how supremely impossible each and every choice is, I pray that we can somehow, through all of our seething, indignant outrage at the atrocities that may be and have been committed against us, Oh my dear God, even against the most radiant love in my life, my children, that we manage to place love first and let it guide us through the darkness of our shared plight.

No comments: