Old Wives' Tales
Radio & TV
Toxin du jour
Glurge: Congregation's prayer to move a mountain to make way for a new church's parking lot is answered.
Example: [Collected on the Internet, 2000]
Origins: The person who attempted to live his life according to the guidance afforded by our popular proverbs would find himself confused indeed, for we have proverbs for all occasions. Did your best friend let something valuable escape his grasp by not acting quickly enough? Be sure to point out that then when nothing is ventured, nothing is gained. If he then loses something important by acting too hastily, you can remind him to look before he leaps. When he reverts to being cautious, don't fail to mention that he who hesitates is lost. Whatever you resolve to do, you can find sayings that support your decision and others than warn you against
Here we have someone's attempt to render the aphorism that "faith can move mountains" as a literal anecdote (while demonstrating some questionable knowledge of municipal building codes and the construction industry). A congregation needed to move a mountain in order to make room for their new church, and through prayer they achieved their goal. It's a charming story about the power of faith.
We might look at the other side of the coin, however, and consider the maxim that tells us "God helps those who help themselves." The characters in this little tale construct a new church without heeding the local building codes, then when they're informed that
A guy named Saul finds himself in dire trouble. His business has gone bust and he's in serious financial trouble. He's so desperate that he decides to ask God for help. He begins to pray: "God, please help me. I've lost my business and if I don't get some money, I'm going to lose my house as well. Please let me win the lottery."Maybe faith really can move mountains, but should we expect the Almighty to do for us what we're perfectly capable of doing for ourselves?
Lottery night comes, and somebody else wins it.
Saul again prays: "God, please let me win the lotto! I've lost my business, my house and I'm going to lose my car as well."
Lotto night comes, and Saul still has no luck.
Once again, he prays: "My God, why have you forsaken me? I've lost my business, my house, and my car. My wife and children are starving. I don't often ask you for help, and I have always been a good servant to you. PLEASE just let me win the lottery this one time so I can get my life back in order."
Suddenly there is a blinding flash of light as the heavens open and Saul is confronted by the voice of God Himself:
"Saul, meet me halfway on this. Buy a ticket."
Last updated: 25 February 2007
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