O Me of Little Faith

So there’s a minister in Maryland who has started a grass-roots movement with a catchy name. The “Pray Down the High Gas Prices Movement,” courtesy of Seventh-Day Adventist Rocky Twyman, carries with it a simple request: Please, God, will you release us from this burden of high gas prices?

Quote from the article in the Baltimore Sun:

Twyman…believes the spike in oil prices and natural disasters of late are a sign that the end of the world is nigh. “We just think there needs to be some divine intervention. Because man has become greedy. How much money do they have to make while all these people are struggling?”

Of course, “struggling” is relative. The article later notes that German drivers would be thrilled to pay $4 a gallon for gas, which is half of what they’re used to. Maybe Europeans are the ones who should be praying. Or maybe God has already answered Twyman’s prayer on behalf of America?

A few more observations and questions:

Seventh-Day Adventists have thought the end of the world was nigh for about the last 150 years. It started with the super-crazy Millerite movement back in 1844. It morphed into the Adventist-offshoot (waaaay offshoot) David Koresh and the Branch Davidians 15 years ago. Then again, Christians of all stripes have thought the end was near since, well, the Gospel of Mark reported Jesus saying the end was near.

Are high gas prices really a spiritual burden? Or are they just an annoyance because we like to drive a lot?

Should we really be asking God to remove annoyances from our lives? Especially the ones that inconvenience us because we like trucks and SUVs and they use a lot of gas?

Isn’t it a wee bit selfish to request almighty intervention because of an annoyance? I can think of some other annoyances I’d like God to do something about that rank way ahead of the price of unleaded. Like maybe child poverty. Or the African AIDS crisis. Or human trafficking. Or guys who wear hands-free Bluetooth earpieces when their hands are entirely free of anything that would prevent them from holding an actual, real phone.

Rocky Twyman is a really cool name.

I’ve seen barefoot children in Nicaragua playing with sticks, while their parents watch from cardboard huts while a trash fire rages nearby and fills the kids’ lungs and eyes and ears and mouth with poisonous smoke from tires and dirty diapers and sewage. With vultures hovering overhead. Because that’s pretty much what day-to-day life is like when you live inside a trash dump. If I ever ask God to remove an annoyance from my life — an inconvenient speedbump on the road to Western-style prosperity — then I pray He tells me to shut up and think about those kids. And maybe, while I’m in a praying mood, pray for them instead.


[If you want, you can sign an online petition sponsored by Citizens to Pray Down the High Gas Price Movement. If you do, you agree to pray three times a day for God to apply the Balm of Gilead to our itchy gas pumps. You also agree to endure my mockery. You also assert your willingness to receive an emailed photo, from me, of a starving, glue-addicted kid from La Chureca. So take that.]

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