Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Take your peace where you can find it

My apologies for the lack of posts lately. Sometimes, I'm busy; sometimes, just not inspired to write anything.

But today, I have some thoughts. Maybe "religion" is a hot-button topic, but it's not that kind of discussion.

Stained glass is a beautiful thing, isn't it?

What I want to talk about is something interesting I've noticed over the past year-plus at my new job. The College I work at is a Methodist-affiliated school, and there is a chapel in the main administrative building. In fact, the chapel just so happens to be next to my office. So, since it is not in regular use during the day, I often find myself wandering through on the way to various meetings or errands.

And over the course of time, I have found that it is a very special place, a place where I often feel at peace, no matter the stresses of the day; a place where I really do feel a connection to God.

Those of you who know me know I am not a particularly religious man. I identify culturally and religiously as a Jew, but I am neither particularly well versed in religion, nor particularly interested. Marisa is the more religious of the two of us, and even so, we are not regular Temple-goers. And I am certainly not a Methodist, even if my Cub Scout troop used to meet in a Methodist church back home.

But during the time when M was pregnant with Emma, I think I prayed in the Chapel just about every day. On the move, maybe, on the way to the men's room or something else mundane, but I would say a semi-silent prayer for my little girl. I still do, every day.

I am probably something of a glass-is-three-quarters-empty kind of guy, but I suspect that underneath it all, the good fortune I have experienced in my life leaves me with a secret expectation that things will turn out for the best. In the Chapel, I often find myself hoping and (literally) praying for such outcomes.

For my baby. For my wife. For my family and friends. Even for myself, though I try to be careful and ask only for what I deserve.

Funny how things work sometimes, in the peace and quiet of God's house. I may be considering reading The Bible merely "as literature," but that doesn't mean I am not a person of faith. I hope I'm right to believe. And I hope I'm right to believe God listens to a struggling man's humble prayer for a long, healthy and above all happy life for his little girl.