I love object lessons that help me reflect about my prayer life. I’ve been reading a book about energy technology, electric power delivery, and smart homes (Seyi Fabode, Advancing Technologies & The Utility Industry, Amazon Digital Services, LLC, 2017). Three items really stood out in connection with prayer and the spiritual power of our words, good and bad.
The author talks about an augmented reality device that allows a person to “see” the effects of energy use (Loc 914-920). For example, if I’m watching a movie at home, this device would allow me to visually see the energy resources that make this activity possible. The idea is that this visual understanding might help me become more aware of the need for conservation.
This made me wonder what it would be like if we had an augmented reality device that allowed us to “see” the effects of our words, thoughts, and prayers. Proverbs 18:21 reminds us that our words can bless or harm. What if we could see that with our eyes? In fact, we can ask God to give us His eyes to see this. And by staying in His presence throughout the day, we can cultivate an awareness of how our words and even our thoughts affect those around us.
The author also describes sensors in the home that can capture and store energy from movement, such as the closing of a door (Loc 807). Later, this stored-up energy becomes available for use in the home. This made me wonder how much energy the slamming of a door in anger or frustration would create. Even more importantly, how much spiritual energy is absorbed into the atmosphere when we slam a door out of anger? How much of that do we create and absorb – and leave where others can absorb, like our kids and any other child that visits our home?
We all get upset at times. I hairline-fractured my wrist knocking my hand against a wall in frustration. We’re human and God understands. But after we settle down and find our balance again, it might be a good idea to repent and ask God to cleanse the atmosphere. We have a bigger impact on our atmosphere than we think – which is good news when we carry God’s peace.
In this book, the author also discusses the increasing use of robots for customer support centers. He comments on how a bigger customer support role for robots would spare human customer service reps from being yelled at all day long (Loc 953).
Wouldn’t it be nice to know that when we get upset with a customer service rep (it happens), that this anger is not being heaped on a real person who will take all that angst home at the end of the day? Better yet, even when we are talking to a robot, we can become more mindful of our rising anger, take a step back, and reorient ourselves to God’s presence – maybe not so much for the robot’s sake, but at least for our sake and for those around us.
Meanwhile, let’s keep customer service reps in our prayers. They have a hard job. Not all of them know to put the cross between themselves and others at the beginning of the day, or to pray cleansing at the day’s end. Pray for God to protect and heal them of harsh words spoken and to help them stay in peace.
It’s also good for us to pray that God will guard our hearts and tongues the next time any of us makes a customer service call. By the way, I usually try and ask God ahead of time to get me to the right person (which, believe it or not, often involves disconnections and dropped calls). Not only does that put the conversation in His hands but it also allows a cooling off time as this prayer is spoken.
How about you? What are the practices or habits that help you stay in God’s peace throughout the day? How do you remember to take your thoughts captive to Christ? (2 Corinthians 10:5)