One of the greatest blessings in my life is being married to Anabelle. At its best, it is indeed a bed of roses: soft, sweetly-scented, comfortable and colorful. there have been bad times as well when the thorns tear at the flesh and cause pain and even the shedding of some blood. But everyday, there is the reassuring presence that is always there: at night, a warmth to hug on to; during the day, a certain busyness that gets things done; in moments to sadness, comforting hand to hold on to; in times of joy, a laughter that heartens; in boredom, someone to do random things with; and in all of these, someone to share the journey and the adventure with.
This morning, I realized that prayer can be like that too. At its best, my prayer time are moments of peace, inspiration, assurance, and affirmation. It is often the best part of my day. But there are times, I have to pull myself up just to do it. There is aridity, doubt and a nagging thought of why am I doing this anyway. But as I struggle in constant prayer, it has meant knowing myself better, seeing the events in my life from a wider and deeper perspective, being awed by the blessings that have come and continue to pour into my life, nurturing the awareness in me that there is Someone that care for me deeply in a way that no other can and in ways that are often too wondrous for me to begin to explain.
I could have married another and so could have Anabelle. But the fact is she is in my life and I cannot at this point imagine my life any other way. And, as hackneyed as it may sound, I would have it no other way. And that is the way the Person I pray to every morning has fashioned it out to be. A seed stays a seed unless it is planted in the ground, where it dies and rot to blossom into a plant. Simple and uncomplicated and yet nothing is more complex than new life sprouting out of a tiny grain. A life like a bed of roses, complete with the thorns. Prayers that are reassuring but often spoken out with doubts and questions. Seeds that have to die first to give a harvest a hundredfold. I only need to stop, listen and be inspired by these deepest truths that are right there before my eyes and indeed lessons not too late for the learning.