Hold the mustard

Here are four things for you to consider.

Peanut Butter & Banana Sandwich, on White Bread.
Squid, Tomatoes, and Capers over Pasta
Filet Mignon, with Smashed Potatoes
Reese Cup

But let’s come back to that in a minute.

There’s been a lot going on in the news. The one thing that stands out to me this morning, is the gun violence in America. And recently, every time a school shooting happens, the President, and the “leaders” announce, calmly, and assuredly, “Our Thoughts and Prayers go out to the families of the victims.”

There are a lot of people who are tired of hearing this phrase, when it comes to this “pat” answer. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. They are sickened by this repeated response, when nothing ever changes about these school shootings. Well. Except for the place, and the number of children found dead.

Now, before you cross-reference your Bible-find-a-quote, in preparation for your arguments against all of this, let me say a few more things.

I believe in Prayer. I pray, every day. A lot, in fact. I do this, because I think, on some level, it is the right thing to do. It is simply giving up some positive energy to any space, place or realm that one may, or may not, imagine. That’s all. The intention, and the placement of the prayer is entirely up to each individual. There is no right way or wrong way to pray. Prayer is simply an expression, or perhaps, a request. To the God, or the energy, of your understanding.

But I also believe in action. I believe in honesty. I believe in working to find the truth about the reality of any situation, and attempting to make it better. Truth. Action. Integrity. Even if this means putting aside our self-serving attitudes.

These two things can co-exist.

There are nay-sayers on both sides of this coin. In fact, it has been an ongoing debate for a very long time. Does prayer work, or not? Decades of studies equaling an ungodly amount of money have been focused on this issue. The results seem to go both ways, depending on who is holding the clipboard. One recent study, cost $2.4 million, and most of the money came from the John Templeton Foundation, which supports research into spirituality. The government has spent more than $2.3 million on prayer research since 2000. (These figures are not very recent.) Some studies say prayer has zero effect on outcomes, other studies say it influences the end results.

My point is this. We should be good. We should be honest. We should act with integrity. We should stand for what is right. Whether it involves prayer, or not, is no matter.

We can’t know if it works or not, or even HOW it works, if it does. The elements and inner-workings are not quantifiable.

Now, let’s go to the food list. And grab a 4-year-old kid while you are there. Tell them to eat some of the food from each plate.

Chances are, they will completely turn down the most of it, save the Reese Cup. But you assure them, “Take one bite. Just one. You don’t KNOW if you like it or not. You have never tried it.”

We can NOT know what we have not experienced. We have no understanding of something unless we have given it a try. Unless we have taken one taste.

This goes for everything.
Banana Sandwiches.
Life without guns in America.

We do not know the outcome, the effects, the possibilities, the destination, or the verity, until we have gone to that place.


“The function of prayer is not to influence God, but rather to change the nature of the one who prays.”
― Søren Kierkegaard


“Forgive me my nonsense as I also forgive the nonsense of those who think they talk sense.”
― Robert Frost


“In prayer it is better to have a heart without words than words without a heart. ”
― John Bunyan