June 28, 2009 | The Rev. Dr. Scott Stoner
Standing in the Need of PrayerDo you ever get a song stuck in your head for days at a time?† Itís as if the song is playing as background music in my mind, and whenever there is a pause in my activity or thinking I become aware of the song again.† Iím always curious about why this particular song is in my head.† Did I hear it on the radio?† Did I read something or experience something that triggered that song?
The song that has been stuck in my head this past week is an old Spiritual called ďStanding in the Need of PrayerĒ.† It goes like this:† ďItís me, itís me, itís me, oh, Lord, standing in the need of prayer.Ē† ...Not my brother, not my sister, but itís me, oh, Lord, standing in the need of prayer...Ē†
So why this song in my head this week?† I think itís because, like so many people, I recently found myself getting caught up in all the media attention regarding two famous men: Michael Jackson and Governor Mark Sanders.† I found myself spending so much time reading about these men.† Even more unsettling is that I found myself expending a lot of energy forming negative opinions about these men because of mistakes they had made.† I was judging them for what I perceived to be the lack of wellness and wholeness in their lives.
I am wise enough (on a good day) to know that when I am getting caught up in someone elseís business. It is time for me once again take a look at the ďMan in the Mirror..."
and reflect on my own efforts to live a life of wellness and wholeness.† God knows that it takes all the energy I have to simply do that.† So I think the Spiritual popped into my head as a reminder that itís easy to judge from the outside, but much more productive to fix the inside first.
†††† There is a tragic quality to the lives of Mark Sanders and Michael Jackson - two very gifted men, yet both seemingly searching to fill some emptiness in their lives.† Their struggles are a humble reminder to all of us that wellness and wholeness are very different from professional success.† Both men are/were very successful in their line of business, yet I donít think we would describe either of them as having a sense of wellness or wholeness about them.
†††† The mission of Samaritan Family Wellness is† to promote whole-person wellness as a way to strengthen families and organizations.† Whole-person wellness is the balance between oneís spiritual, emotional, relational and physical wellness.† Finding balance and wholeness is a journey, and our needs and strengths are in constant flow. Through the struggles of these two men, Iím choosing to learn that worldly success is not all that defines me. My family, friends, and ability to run are just as satisfying, and require just as much work. Instead of judging them for their faults, I ask that Michael Jackson (truly, may his soul now rest in peace) and Mark Sanders humbly remind us of our need for balance and whole-person wellness.† And may we also be reminded, that,† itís ďnot the Governor, not the Pop Star, but itís me, oh, Lord, standing in the need of prayer...Ē
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