I’ve never been a fan of heavy metal music.
Twice I bought albums out of my genre in an attempt to bond with boys.
Rush. And Blue Oyster Cult.
I’m not even sure those are considered heavy metal, maybe they are just hard rock.
Anyway, lately when I find myself between a rock and a hard place, I am decidedly determined to not let my emotions spin out of control. I abruptly walk away, end the call and begin to play soft music or quietly pray. I hum melodies that help me stay in a state of peace and contentment.
Music and writing have always been the best way for me to seek solitude. Like my favorite Journey album, they were acceptable escapes before I became an adult and started making other, less healthy, more addictive coping choices.
When the helpfulness of those eventually became more obviously detrimental, I decided something had to give and added a different kind of activity. One I never thought would become so serious on my schedule. And now I can’t make it through the day without it.
If I don’t like where my attitude is headed or the way my day is beginning to unfold or the phone call I just received makes my heart hurt to the point of wanting to puke, I have to stop. And hum a hymn, or pray.
It’s not been one of those spiritual disciplines I looked forward to. It seemed boring and pointless. Unexciting and repetitive. I’d get tired and sometimes even fall asleep just like Peter did before Jesus’ final day on earth.
I’m also not a big fan of prayer circles. Nervousness takes over when I gather in the simplest shape with a lot of people I don’t know. I worry my knees will buckle if we have to stand still much longer. I’ve been caught one- eyed peeking a time or two, or more, just to see how close we are to ending with one final prayer.
But as a little girl, I remember faithfully kneeling beside my bed, and believing God could hear me.
In my early 20’s I was paid to kneel beside a motel bed and prayed he couldn’t.
The faithful prayers of my mom, my grandparents and the people who have known and loved me through some of my most disappointing and daunting days were not pointless.
They were powerful, mindful and long lasting.
We want our prayers answered the way we order a cheeseburger and fries in the drive through. But it doesn’t always work like that.
I’ve seen enough prayers answered that I am beginning to really see and understand just how important it is to pray God-sized prayers for ourselves, the people we love, the situations we can’t control and the country we are so privileged to live in.
The week before we left for the Belong Tour in Dallas, I began to notice a push back and unsettledness. Obstacles and opposition. And in a hushed moment of stopping and circling complicated situations before me, I heard it. The most unlikely lyrics that could have popped into my head.
We’re not gonna take it. No, we ain’t gonna take it.
Turns out, that’s a Twisted Sister song and I think sometimes God uses things we don’t necessarily like, to get our attention.
In that particular moment, I was reminded that determined, unrelenting prayer is our best and most important opportunity to move our circumstances boldly in new directions, in a Quiet Riot kind of way.