voting, prayer & other useless things

Don’t let what you can’t do keep you from doing what you can.       – a very wise person

Today is election day and I am quite inspired by all the people posting on Facebook that they are voting.  It encourages me to get in on the action.  I haven’t been the most committed of voters in my time.  I can easily slip into the camp of thinking that it just doesn’t make a difference.  But, I’m voting today.  I know that when I do vote later today I will feel empowered by the doing of it.  For better or worse I don’t think my vote will bring an end to poverty and  gun violence.  Nor will it directly reinvest millions of dollars into public schools.  I am pretty sure that the greatest difference my vote will make in the world is to ME, and my sense of being an active part of the community,  able to affect change.

Several weeks ago a college friend was having surgery for a brain tumor.  Someone organized a virtual prayer vigil for her that day and I was grateful to be able to sign up and hold her in prayer.  Much like “the power” of voting, I didn’t believe that my prayers would reverse the cancer cells or bring complete and thorough peace of mind to her.  But, the prayers made a difference to me.  The prayers molded my feelings of helplessness and fear to compassion, light, joy, gratitude as I held her deep in my heart that day.  I sent her all the courage, love and hope I had in me.

I read somewhere that a key to being and staying healthy is having a sense of efficacy; believing that you can effect change in your life and in the world.  It matters that you believe YOU make a difference – even to yourself.  The feeling or sense of being helpless, without anything to do,  is detrimental to your health.

Prayer and voting are both apparently useless if you are expecting direct, tangible results of your actions.  But, watch out.  That praying and voting is most likely shifting, redirecting, and digging deep new pathways within you, transforming you from the inside out.

This Saturday is another apparently useless Daily Bread Yoga retreat.  We will do a whole bunch of yoga and let these ideas about efficacy, change, and transformation work their way through us.  There is a good chance there will not be a tangible or obvious result.  It is unlikely you will grow another arm or earn a degree.  But, who knows what furniture might get rearranged inside your spirit – and that might make all the difference.  Anyway, what do you have to lose?

The retreat is NOT at Philo Presbyterian.  The retreat will be at McKinley Presbyterian Church on the corner of 5th and John st., on the UofI campus, 9a.m.-noon.  $20 and bring a mat and a bottle of water.  Please tell me that you are coming and then follow thru — show up.  Park in the ramp on 5th st, across from the church.  We will be in the sanctuary — enter through the doors on the corner of 5th & John st.  Got it?  Good.

Peace on your fine head,



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