Sunday, June 10, 2007

an oil change and a prayer

I took my truck in for an oil change today. While I sat outside the Jiffy-Lube enjoying a book, the man sitting next to me started to pray loud enough for me to hear.

"Please Lord, bless the technician working on my car. Guide his hand while repairing my care. I need this fuel system cleaning to work so that we can take or trip to Las Vegas and Lake Tahoe."

He added a few other odd bits before finishing. I did not say a word, but my brain backfired. Why would a seemly normal man pray for God to guide the hand of a nameless mechanic? It seems so trivial. I would think God has weightier things on his mind.

His car worked. He drove away happy. I bet he thought it was a miracle.

As I sat reading, my mind wondered off the book to its internal dialog. My mind filled with unspoken words and images, please don't try to upsell me today. I'm not in the mood. Who was I talking to? Myself of course. It was just the internal dialog which runs every moment of every day and is hard to tune out. If I were to utter these thoughts out loud, people would think me crazy. On the other hand, if I were to vocalize the thoughts and direct them to God, people would think me normal. It seems odd.

Why do people pray for little things? For that matter, why do people pray at all? God would know if you need something because he's omnipresent. Does it help if you ask? Does in help more if more people ask?

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9 comments:

The Exterminator said...

Do you think the guy will pray for good luck when he gets to Vegas? Does his supernatural pal condone gambling? He must, because otherwise the mechanic wouldn't have gotten the heavenly help he needed to fix the car.

tina said...

Why are we considered nuts if we talk to ourselves but not if we talk to an invisible god. Crazy, just crazy I say!

jamon said...

Why do people pray?

Perhaps it's because they're afraid not to.

The man probably prays each time he brings his truck to the mechanic. Each time he finds that the mechanic fixes it up nice. Thanks to God.

His quandry is this - what if I don't pray the next time? What manner of destruction will be meted upon my truck?

I bet this man prays to god before dawn each day, just to make sure the sun comes up.

Anonymous said...

I've always felt embarassment for anyone who prayed aloud in a public space, like a restaurant or car lube joint. Just as I learned to read without peaking out loud (or even moving my lips), I assume people can pray silently. To do so aloud outside of home or church is ostentatiously suspect; more for show or to provoke.

Johnny Crow said...

http://thephoenix.com/Article.aspx?id=41370&page=1

Thought you might like the article.

Oh and people pray because they fail to have faith in other people and themselves. Not this faith that religion touts, but simply hope for thy fellow man. Those who pray are most assuredly of facing life itself. The rest of us just have caffeine (j/k)

Carolyn Ann said...

I rode my Ducati to the dealership with the rear tire bathed in oil (an oil pump failure sent oil everywhere it wasn't supposed to be. The oil pump failed because I dropped the bike.) The mechanic said it was a miracle I'd made it there. Does that count? Oh, wait: maybe it was the fact that I took it real steady?

And I pray everytime I take the Ducati in for service. Although I tend to pray for a lower bill than expected, and it's usually directed at my bank manager. (Okay, okay! Does "hoping like hell" count as praying?)

Mind you, ride a bike around here, and you can turn religious real fast: "Holy Fuck!" is a frequent prayer of mine; especially when some idiot pops out, as they are wont to do. :-)

Carolyn Ann

Mojoey said...

Carolyn ann - you have a Ducati? I'm trying to sell a Ducati. What a small world. A red monoposto - it screams.

Johnny - thanks. I saw it Sunday. I'm thinking about a response.

Carolyn Ann said...

Yup: A red Monster (S2R model). I've also got a red Vespa, and a Royal Enfield that New Jersey doesn't want to register.

Oy.

I love my Ducati! :-)

Carolyn Ann

vjack said...

That post made me laugh out loud! The idea of praying that the oil change guy does a good job is so absurd I can't stand it. What is wrong with these people? Clearly they are not doing this because they believe in any sort of god but as a form of self-soothing behavior. Still, this makes me want to laugh, cry, and puke at the same time.