My 3 Ps

My 3 Ps

“To pray, does not mean to listen to oneself speaking. Prayer involves becoming silent and being silent and waiting until God is heard” – Soren Kierkegaard.

There is a lot that connects us, theoretically. By clicking on some blue underlined jumble of symbols and letters sent in an email we are suddenly connecting with someone across the street, the country or another part of the world. Despite this, I can’t seem to shake a feeling of being disconnected, among all this “connectedness”. 

 In March of 2020, I was redeployed from my regular job to work alongside my colleagues to care and support seniors living in long term care who were on COVID outbreak. On a personal level, my family worried about our mother living in long term care. During that time, I really had to dig deep to find ways to mentally cope with many conflicting emotions. I had to slow the firing synapses in my brain, take a deep breath…slowly exhale. Through that process, I discovered my 3 P’s.

P1 – Patience. We live in a society where words are frequent and knowledge is assumed. It appears that everyone is right and everyone is wrong. There is little room for in-between. We are connecting with each other within these extremes and patience is not always demonstrated. I had to find the patience to see through each day, the good and the challenging.  Be patient with people I was connecting with, be patient for a time when family/friends could again connect in person to celebrate milestones. I needed to take time, focus on my breathing, my patience and being present.

P2: Being Present. There is so much discontent and anger these days about personal rights being taken away, theories of one thing or another related to COVID 19. I feel as if people are more interested in what is happening to themselves and perceived wrongs, then being present with their community or the world. I admit, I can get irritated when opinions differ than mine. However, despite differing perspectives around the pandemic I feel we all need to somehow learn to live in another person’s present (not necessarily agree), in order to help understand how others are living with this pandemic. Having conversations with people, despite differences, is important. We know there are job losses, people living with illness (not COVID related), relationships are challenged, children and teenagers have lost their routines, sports, and friend connections. Schools and hospitals are experiencing outbreaks. This is all happening, and so much more, right now, this is our present. We are on this roller-coaster of ups and downs. We can’t just sweep it away. We need to be present with what is going on, we need to calm down, take a deep breath, practice patience and pray.    

P3 - Prayer:  the word itself provokes peace in me. It’s calm amongst anxiety. Prayer teaches me patience. At one time I had wished my prayers would be answered in a way that I could understand. Now my prayers focus on helping me accept my circumstances. Prayer is the needed silence among the present noise. Prayer is the spiritual force that lets me be patient and present with those around me. Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart ….and make the most of every opportunity (Colossian 4:2), even during a pandemic.