The Backseat Driver

“Under certain circumstances, profanity provides a relief denied even to prayer”

Mark Twain

Looking over my bookshelf, my little red book, Unconventional Prayers, caught my attention.

I opened the book to the prayer “For a Back Seat Driver.”

Interesting.

I am a classic example of a back seat driver so it’s appropriate for me to share  Dr. Allen Stockdale’s prayer.

A reminder–1955 is the copyright date of this book.

Dear safety-minded Guardian Angel, I am a driver of an automobile. The traffic is severe and driving is dangerous. I have a wife who rides on the back seat, opposite side from the wheel; her angle of vision is different from mine, for she does not drive at the wheel, but continually tells me what to do while I’m driving. maybe in heaven there are no automobiles and no back seat drivers and you don’t have to meet the problem. I am not ready for heaven yet and still must meet these earthly irritations. I pray thee, good Angel, look down upon me in divine pity and tell me clearly what to do. Religion is a life as well as a belief, but I have more trouble with the life part of it.  

Maybe it’s only me but I think most my fellow backseat drivers have much shorter and more intense prayers as we sit in the passenger seat. I think most of our prayers are more in the Mark Twain style.

I am…

B…simply being…

~Peace~

Talking with God

For the past few years, I’ve been searching for prayers. I have a good source of the old standby Catholic prayers which feel a little like comfort food to me–I often find myself reciting them without putting a lot of thought behind the words.

Now, as I age and continue my quest for a deeper understanding of myself, I’m looking for a less traditional prayers. I want to add to my prayer book words that feel like I’m having a conversation with God. For me, that’s how I would define prayer–talking with God.

In my reading, I’ve stumbled upon some great quotes. One quote by Mark Twain struck a loud chord with me today because he talks about profanity. I’ve been working in the yard a lot which takes a toll in the Texas heat. When I get overly tired, my F-word filter is the first one to fall way too low. I’m thinking I probably owe a few people an apology.

“Under certain circumstances, profanity provides a relief denied even to prayer.”

[Mark Twain, a Biography]

Mark Twain

I ended my yard work earlier today meaning I’m less tired. I believe my filters are now in working order. In light of that fact, I think I’ve found the perfect prayer to share.

Prayer of an Anonymous Abbess:

Lord, thou knowest better than myself that I am growing older and will soon be old. Keep me from becoming too talkative, and especially from the unfortunate habit of thinking that I must say something on every subject and at every opportunity.

Release me from the idea that I must straighten out other peoples’ affairs. With my immense treasure of experience and wisdom, it seems a pity not to let everybody partake of it. But thou knowest, Lord, that in the end I will need a few friends.

Keep me from the recital of endless details; give me wings to get to the point.

Grant me the patience to listen to the complaints of others; help me to endure them with charity. But seal my lips on my own aches and pains — they increase with the increasing years and my inclination to recount them is also increasing.

I will not ask thee for improved memory, only for a little more humility and less self-assurance when my own memory doesn’t agree with that of others. Teach me the glorious lesson that occasionally I may be wrong.

Keep me reasonably gentle. I do not have the ambition to become a saint — it is so hard to live with some of them — but a harsh old person is one of the devil’s masterpieces.

Make me sympathetic without being sentimental, helpful but not bossy. Let me discover merits where I had not expected them, and talents in people whom I had not thought to possess any. And, Lord, give me the grace to tell them so.

Amen” 

Margot Benary-Isbert

I am…

B…simply being…

~Peace~

 

I am so fortunate I have an amazing photographer in my circle of Facebook friends. Thank you, Mr. Chuck Hackenmiller, for allowing me to use your wonderful photos as part of my blog. You can see many of Mr. Hackenmiller beautiful pictures on the Facebook page, I grew up in Iowa. Please note, no re-use of this photo without permission from Chuck Hackenmiller, Boone, Iowa.