Prayer Is Puzzling

By Rev. Kurt Condra  

I spent a good chunk of time this week on a really tough jigsaw puzzle: 1,500 pieces depicting hundreds of spectators watching 60 balloons spread across miles of blue sky. Turns out, it was a fruitful investment of energy. Finishing that puzzle flipped a switch in my consciousness.

My theory is with all the ambiguity and uncertainty we're traversing, our minds and hearts crave definitive solutions. There are a lot of approaches to jigsaws. Sort by color or shape. Start with the frame, or a distinct feature. Whatever the strategy, the pieces either fit or they don't. A puzzle is either complete or it isn't. 

For every aspect of life touched by this pandemic, that's not true for the foreseeable future. There are no definitive answers; no sure time tables. So we're called to balance our need for safety and stability with the reality of disruption and confusion. Like a child clutching a security blanket to protect from monsters lurking in the dark, we need a solid rock on which to build our faith. Immersing oneself in prayerful certitude that Infinite Good is unfolding despite appearances is a powerful practice. It's also a very high bar, especially now.

Take heart. The rock of your salvation from uncertainty and weariness is more accessible than you might think. Finishing a project that provides a sense of completion can be soul work. Playing a game by clear, unambiguous rules can be restorative self-care. Re-frame what you regard as prayerful immersion and you may rediscover the incredible reserve of light and love within.