I saw something yesterday that sort irked me. It was a phrase I have heard most of my life but someone had gone and twisted it a bit. First, I don’t think it is fair to tack your words of wisdom onto those of someone else. If you have something to say just say it. “So what’s the phrase” you might be asking yourself? I know you’ve heard it as well but here goes
If you give a man a fish, he will eat for a day. If you teach him how to fish he will eat for a lifetime.
Maybe I didn’t get the words exactly right but I know the meaning is in tact. “So what was the change that bothered you” you must be asking yourself. Well here it is.
If you teach a man to pray, he will die waiting for fish.
I am not angry really because I guess there is some truth about the fact that God in not magic and that He never promised us an easy life. He only said that we aren’t alone in it. Much growth comes of struggle and pain and we are all the better for it and get through it with our eyes fixed on Him. You can’t pray and not act. But what I really thought after reading this was……how about a prayer of praise and gratitude for the fish in the first place or the person who taught you to fish or for that fact that you are physically able to learn and to fish itself. Have we become so great a society that we no longer see God and His great gift of this life. I know where I am headed but I cannot ignore the gift that this life here and today is.
I know that prayer can be a touchy subject these days but is essential to our relationship with God. I don’t believe that the only form of prayer is what we first think of , down on our knees, reciting the words we have been taught, although I find great comfort there. I think the very breath we take, the thoughts we think, the work we do, our relationships, all of it is prayer. How do we show our love and our gratitude towards the One who brought us forth but by how we live this gift He has given us.
Maybe the person who wrote that doesn’t believe in God but I for one do not want to count purely on myself to make it through all of this. I am not that smart. O.K. even if you do count on yourself to do it all…where do you think those “smarts” came from? To quote another (though I am not sure who sorry) “No man is an island” I always thought that meant that we all need someone. I believe gratitude in itself is a beautiful prayer. Don’t get me wrong, I do believe that we are all capable of creation but I believe that is because we are created to do so. We are multi-talented, gifted people because we are created in His image and that He dwells in us.
I will pray for you all today and for the author of that quote and even the one who changed it to suit himself alone. Tell someone how grateful you are today even if it is just yourself. Gratitude can grow like a weed in your heart and it is one weed we can all live with.