Those who read this column even occasionally know that I’m not a big fan of technology. I’m not always comfortable with it, am not very good at it, and avoid it as much as possible.
Something I’ve learned, though, is that when any electronic device – a television, computer, smartphone – is on the fritz and stops working, one of the first things to try is to turn it off completely and shut it down for a few minutes. The idea is to “reboot” it, to start all over. And behold, sometimes when the device is powered-up again, almost magically it begins to work. Problem solved.
There’s a parallel here for our daily lives.
Sometimes our lives go “on the fritz” just like our technology does. We don’t function very well, we have lots of problems, and we’re filled with anxiety. We don’t know what to do or where to turn. The solution? Prayer!
Prayer, especially personal prayer in silence, is the way we “reboot” our lives. Prayer forces us to shut down for a little bit and gain some peace and perspective. Prayer helps us to “reboot” and start over.
There are many reasons for prayer. We pray to adore God, we pray in contrition for our sins, and we pray to thank God for all the blessings we have received. And, in our most frequent form of prayer, we pray to ask God for favors and assistance, for ourselves and others. Regardless of our intentions, though, prayer always places us in the presence of God and helps us regain a sense of perspective and trust. “Pray, hope and don’t worry,” St. Padre Pio famously said.
The Gospels tell us that Jesus frequently went off by himself to pray, especially at critical moments in his life. When he prayed in agony in the Garden of Gethsemane on the night before he was to endure his cruel suffering and death, his Father sent an angel to comfort him. (Lk 22: 43) Likewise, when we immerse ourselves in prayer, at moments of pain and suffering, the Lord sends us an angel too, to guard us, accompany us, and comfort us.
So, the next time you find yourself in some sort of distress and suffering, if you find that you’re not functioning very well, try rebooting your life. Slow down and pray.
Something to think about: Can you think of other parallels between technology and your spiritual life?