Our lives can be easily divided into 3 categories. Things we can control in life, things we cannot control in life and then things we ‘like to think’ we cannot control in life.
The first 2 categories are obvious. I am more interested in the last category where we simply dump things into a large space meant specifically for the ‘power beyond us’.
Here I am referring to the omniscient and omnipotent God. In this world, many people conveniently shift their responsibility to a supreme being or a divine power.
It is in this context the following 2 points are pertinent
God is not a coat-hanger: There is a notion that God will take care of one’s problems in life. People wish that by praying they can shift their problems to a super natural being. They feel really relieved and are deceived into believing that their problems have gone away. Unfortunately this is not true.
If an omnipotent, omniscient God has decided to dump problems on your lap then he is obviously expecting you to work them out. You can’t tell God ‘No, no you take that!” and wash your hands from the issues in life. You can’t pass the buck back to God. Your problems are your problems. If you wish or pray, life’s problems will not vanish. In some cases providence or coincidence may come to your aid, but you better not hope that it will always happen
In fact, you will be better off taking ownership of your problems and try to resolve then rather than expecting divine intervention on your behalf. The sooner you come to terms with this reality the better it will be for you in the long run.
God is not a wishing-well: This is another popular and prevalent idea in our midst. People wish that their lives turn out a particular way. They may want some career change, a promotion or to cross some academic hurdle.
Some think that if they pray hard enough or make frequent visits to temples, churches or mosques their wishes will be granted. An omniscient and omnipotent God is not keeping scores for each and every one in this world. You will not get extra marks for having uttered God’s name a zillion times nor will you get special favors based on how fervently you prayed.
Your destiny is in your hands. You are the architect of your future. You should be working to make your dreams come true. Remember “the best way to predict the future is to create it. So don’t keep posting all your wishes to God and hope he will respond to it.
We need to be practical in life, take ownership of our problems and also work towards creating the future we desire.
Having said that, I will agree that prayer does give one hope. And hope is essential in our journey through life. But hope alone does not accomplish anything.