To Pray Or Pummel

CrossroadsMy friend messaged me last week:

I remember how floored I was at first when you asked me to pray for him. When I was in the worst place with my husband years ago, I wanted to pummel him, not pray for him. How I wish I had!! (Prayed, not pummeled. 🙂)

I’ve had a few of those want-to-pummel moments, too, but not many. I’m so thankful for the intentional (and really difficult) spiritual growth I’ve had in the past decade and a half. I was going through the motions in some areas of my life, and I felt as if God stood me at crossroads and whispered in my heart: “Go ahead. Choose which way you prefer to go. I can tell you right now neither path is easy, so instead of choosing between easy and difficult, why don’t you choose which kind of difficult you’re willing to go through to get to who you most want to become?”

So, I decided to go the way that requires painful pruning and humility but also a refinement that strengthens me, the path filled with an ever-deepening purpose that I don’t always understand yet always appreciate. And through that journey, I’ve come to treasure my relationship with God.

That’s how I’ve come to a place where I know and trust him so much that prayer is my choice over pummeling. I know I need to move into and through prayer instead of pummeling people even when I hurt. Pummeling hurts the other person whether or not that’s the right thing to do at the time. And it exhausts me.

Prayer is exhausting at times, too. But it is energizing, too. It strengthens because it connects me to God and his strength and wisdom and comfort and justice.

Today you might feel as if your only good choice is to pummel, but prayer is a choice, too. I’m not saying the choice is easy. In fact, I can tell you neither choice is without its challenges. So instead of choosing between easy and difficult, why don’t you choose which kind of difficult you’re willing to go through to get to who you most want to become?

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