Five Minute Friday: JUST
This is what came to mind when I read today’s prompt: the number of times (I’ve lost count…) that I have heard someone who is praying publicly use “just” frequently throughout their prayer.
That’s probably not what was intended by this prompt (I think it was supposed to be more about justice), but it’s what kept niggling at my brain. Once I became an Episcopalian, after quite a long time of being Southern Baptist, the incidents of “just” pretty much disappeared. I think this had to do with the adherence to a prayer book.
However, I’m an ecumenical enough person that I worship in many different environments, so I am still struck by a “just-filled” prayer occasionally.
Now, the only One a prayer style matters to is God. I shouldn’t care!
It’s more of an observation. It’s an observation made by Robert Sang also, in 5 reasons to eliminate the word “just” from your prayers.
And it’s a big enough thing that, apparently, an app was created to administer an electrical shock every time someone used the word “just” while praying. OUCH! (I can’t find the app in the app store; maybe it just went away. 😉
Whatever the case … I think the reason it even catches my attention at all comes from two reasons.
***end of five minutes***
The first is Toastmasters. The “repetitive ‘just'” habit irritated me before I got involved in Toastmasters, but once you are trained regarding the way filler words detract from your message, and once you are in the position to evaluate others on their speeches (because they want to be evaluated), it’s even more difficult to ignore all the justs!
The second is a bit of a dichotomy. While I know God doesn’t care how we deliver our message … and God knows our every need anyway, I also know God wants us to be direct and confident about asking for guidance and good outcomes for those we love.
As Robert Sang said (referring to a specific scripture passage), Jesus used “just” to mean “in the same way as you are in me and I am in you.” Sang goes on to remind us, “It is not a mitigation.”
I’ve done my share of not being clear about what I want (and need) over my lifetime. Of all places where I should feel free to be specific and mitigation-free, prayer seems to be that place.
Welcome to this week’s Five Minute Friday. Our instructions, via creator Kate Motaung: “Write for five minutes on the word of the week. This is meant to be a free write, which means: no editing, no over-thinking, no worrying about perfect grammar or punctuation.” (But I can’t resist spell checking, as you can imagine.)