Conversation with God
by John C. Westervelt
Six mornings a week at an early hour, I pray for family and friends. You might call this my “serious” prayer time. Since becoming a widower twenty years ago, I carry on a conversation with God and Jesus throughout the day. You could call these my “not-so-serious” prayer moments.
After shaving each morning, I wash my face with a washcloth wrung out from hot water, and it feels good. I say, “Thanks God for the steel of the razor and the cotton of the washcloth.”
I enjoy bacon and eggs and toast five mornings a week. With a twist of a knob, the utility company’s generator heats my skillet and my oven broiler. I say, “Thanks God for the convenience of my kitchen.”
As I enjoy the taste of a glass of cold orange juice, I say, “Thanks God for those who planted the orange trees, for those who nurtured the trees, for the ones who picked the fruit, for the people who processed the oranges, for those who shipped the fruit to my hometown, for the person who put the orange juice on my grocery store freezer shelf, and for the efficiency of each person, so that I can enjoy this glass of orange juice for twenty cents.” My companions at breakfast, Asbury’s Daily Bible Reading and Prayer Journal, Asbury’s Acts 29, and Proverbs, bring me joy.
On my volunteer job each morning, I play with Asbury preschool children. Sometimes I hear the voice of God through the children. In the afternoon I write a weekly letter to my family and other stories. I thank God for my computer, which makes it easier to write. On some afternoons, I simply manage my household.
When my arthritic ankle hurts, I say, “Thanks God for the ten thousand things that are working well.”
I save my newspaper to read with supper. After a bite of brisket mixed with a bite of baked potato with salt and butter, I close my eyes for a moment and say, “Thanks God for taste buds that bring me such pleasure.”
On Saturday morning, I fix pancakes, in part so I’ll not forget how. On this laundry day, I say, “Thanks God for my washer and dryer that let me maintain my household with less energy than I once had.” I express my appreciation to God for city water and sewer, electric power, and natural gas.
Having reached age eighty, I am up once or twice during the night. Sometimes I am awakened by a frustrating dream. Awake and in the bathroom, I tell God, “I love reality.” Back in bed with my eyes closed, I ask Jesus to pull up a chair and stay with me until I fall asleep.
These conversations are my attempt to follow Paul’s instructions in I Thessalonians 5:16-18 “Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
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