I was born into the Catholic faith and attended a Catholic elementary school. I went to church every Sunday and could recite mass in Latin, even though I didn't understand a word of it. Timing was everything. I knelt and stood at the appropriate times. I made the sign of the cross in record speed and even wore that silly cloth doily on top of my head. Concerning the confessional, I was a repeat offender. "I hit my brother and sister and took the Lord's name in vain."
As a young adult, I was still reciting the same old sins. Too embarrassed to upgrade to more serious offenses, I stopped going to church all together. God didn't really exist for me outside of church. The only times I thought about God was when I said bedtime prayers, or when I asked for favors. The requests started out simple and advanced into more complex (I want a: puppy, boyfriend, car, marriage, house, child, ect.)
I shouldn't complain, I got all the things I had asked for, it might of took a hell of a lot of time, but I eventually got what I wanted. Somehow, I never really felt the connection that God was at the bottom of all of this. I just attributed it to a lot of hard work and perseverance on my part.
Still, something was missing in my life. Physically and mentally I was in good shape, but my soul needed nourishment. At age fifty, one ponders more philosophical questions. I wanted to know the reason I existed in the universe, that I was making a difference and that I was on the right path to salvation. I came to the realization, that I needed God on a more personal level. When I spoke to God, I wanted to feel as if He was in the same room listening to me. "Ask and you shall receive," I always wanted to believe in this simple phrase.
It was though the book entitled, The Prayer of Jabez by Bruce Wilkinson, that I reconnected with God. I spoke, He listened, and answered back with a sense of humor.
It happened when I was out walking one early January morning. The brisk air had quickened my pace an I felt invigorated to repeat The Prayer of Jabez out loud. I came to the passage from (1Chronicles 4:10), which reads: And Jabez called upon God of Israel saying, "Oh that you would bless me indeed," ...ect. The author's interpretation of this particular section, was that God was waiting to shower us with blessings, (big ones), all we needed was the courage to ask as did Jabez. Well, I substituted the name Jabez for mine and added a few Twenty-first century verses of my own. I said, "And Karen called upon God of Israel saying, "Oh that you would bless me indeed... pile it on, give it tome, heap it on, ... sock it to me, ... sock it to me, ... sock it to me!" Then I thought to myself, OK God, if you are listening, show me a sock!
I walked a few feet ahead and immediately glanced to my left at a snow bank. There lying in the snow, next to the curb, was a dirty sock! ... not a comb, not a glove, but one sock.
Now, I have proof that God does listen, that He can be spontaneous and humorous. That day, not only did I take home one slightly used sock, but a renewed faith in God.
A look at the Prayer of Jabez by Rev. Charles Cooper.
The Prayer of Jabez by Berit Kjos.