Last week I received a notice on my front door. “Your power will be out April 8th from 8 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. We are replacing telephone poles on your street.”
EIGHT hours with no power? No microwave, no espresso machine, no blow dryer, no hot water kettle, NO HOT WATER. My eyeballs fell out onto the table and rolled across the floor. Blinded by worry, I knew I would have to prepare.
The night before the Power Outage I went to bed early and was asleep by nine o’clock. I woke up at midnight, hot-flash-restless and worried about no power ALL DAY. The thing is, once you start worrying about one thing, all these other Worries line up, pushing and shoving their way to the front of your mind. And may I just say that NONE of them wore masks. Argh!
When I got up I immediately starting writing in my Morning Pages while My Mensch of a Partner made lattes. I wrote quickly because who knows how long my computer charge would last? I looked at the clock–two more hours of power. What kind of monsters would take our power away before coffee? After writing, lattes and email I took a long hot shower because we would soon lose our hot water! The tragedies just kept piling up.
I had an appointment at ten o’clock that morning, but what if before then I wanted–needed!–a cup of tea? I put on the electric kettle and microwaved some milk for the tea. And no–we can’t boil water on our stove top because we have an electric starter. I know—devastating. Got the tea/milk combo so nuclear hot that my first sip blistered my lips. I quickly grabbed some ice because it would most likely melt in the freezer while the power was out.
All this craziness got me to thinking, (Something has to.) What if we all got a notice that for eight hours we would lose Power? And I do mean “Power” with a capital “P.” And what is most powerful with a capital “P?” PRAYER. What if our prayers were USELESS for eight hours straight? How would we prepare? What would we pray about?
Quick, quick! Think fast and be specific. No fair just saying, “World peace, world health.” What do you need every day that would not be possible without the power of Spirit? For some of us it’s as essential as “breath.” For others of us it is as consequential as “may the car start.” What is on our hearts about which we want–need!–to pray?
Think about what could happen in eight hours if there was no Power of the Holy Spirit. Those last second prayers of anyone–a person held by a cop on the street; a tired parent of a sick child; a dying human anywhere in the world. THINK about what would happen if Spirit just checked out for a mere eight seconds, let alone eight hours.
How would you prepare? Have you ever said, “I’ll keep you in my prayers”? Of course you have! So have I–many times a day as a hospital chaplain. Well, it’s time for us to gather up all those promises, all those good intentions and PRAY!
Because what if the Power went out? Even for just eight seconds, let alone eight hours?
But it bears thinking about because it reminds of us how we squander, overlook, forget about the power of Spirit every day.