“May your kingdom come; may your will be done on earth as in heaven.”
“Mine, Mine, Mine…” whenever I am in the company of seagulls, I can’t help but remember this funny scene from the hit movie, “Finding Nemo:” For one perilous moment the fish, at risk of being washed ashore, find themselves surrounded by eager Seagulls simultaneously declaring: “Mine, mine, mine!” Seagulls are notorious for their insatiable appetites! I’ve witnessed them fighting each other over mere crumbs. One particular day as I was entertained by their crazy antics, it occurred to me that perhaps we aren’t so different. In that, I mean that it is in our nature to want what we want how/when we want it. In today’s culture, it seems almost normal to put our needs and desires over and above God’s…. and those around us. When I reflect upon my own relationships with family and friends (with God’s help), it doesn’t take long for me to recognize that every argument I’ve ever had has been a direct result of my own selfish desires and unwillingness to submit my own will to God’s. During his earthly ministry, Jesus taught his disciples to pray “May YOUR Kingdom come; May YOUR will be done on earth as in heaven.”(Matt 6:10) In this we have an amazing invitation to exchange our flesh cries of “mine, mine, mine” for divine glimpses of “His, His, His” will for our lives.
Because Jesus’ disciples had witnessed firsthand the healing, freedom, transformation, restoration, and powerful impact that took place as people experienced a brush with “heaven on earth,” they must have had these glimpses of “heaven on earth” in mind when they asked Jesus to teach them to pray. God is still in the business of healing broken hearts, restoring relationships, and transforming lives. But, he waits for us to get to the business of offering our own plans and agenda for a complete renewing of our minds.(see Rom 12:2) As Jesus warned “the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” (Matt 26:41) God is more than willing and well able to manifest his will in/through us, but only to the degree that we are willing to abandon our flesh cries of “mine, mine, mine” at the foot of the cross to make room for His.
Seagulls will continue to clamor over the crumbs offered to them… they can’t help it. As for us, please allow me to close with this beautiful prayer from St. Francis of Assisi:
“Lord, make me an instrument of your peace!
Where there is hatred- let me sow love, where there is injury-pardon,
Where there is doubt-faith, where there is despair-hope,
Where there is darkness-light, where there is sadness-joy.
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled-as to console,
To be understood-as to understand, to be loved-as to love,
For it is in giving-that we receive, It is pardoning-that we are pardoned,
It is in dying-that we are born to Eternal Life.”