“Do not pray for easy lives. Pray to be stronger men! Do not pray for tasks equal to your powers. Pray for powers equal to your tasks! Then the doing of your work shall be no miracle. But you shall be a miracle. Every day you shall wonder at yourself, at the richness of life which has come to you by the grace of God.” –Phillips Brooks
I don’t know when or where I first read this quote, but it has always stuck with me, especially when I start having little pity parties for some inconvenience or problem I’m going through. For the most part, I have a very blessed and easy life compared to a lot of people throughout this world. And as I was considering images for this post, I stumbled across this image of the hammer and nail and thought it was an interesting metaphor for this quote. In a way, Bishop Brooks is challenging us to shift our focus from the easier role of the hammer, to the more difficult role of the nail: To ask God for more strength for whatever situation or circumstance into which we are driven; to hold it together; to withstand the pressures put upon us; to not complain. The hammer gets to go back into the tool box when the job is done. The nail’s job is never done. I don’t know–maybe I’m reaching… but it makes sense to me. Agree or disagree? Other thoughts?
Father God, please forgive me when I take your blessings for granted and help me to remember this prayer. Make me stronger, and give me power and wisdom equal to the responsibilities you have entrusted me with.