Here's the beginning of an article I recently wrote for RELEVANT. These ideas have been spinning in my head as I've been writing my book, Teach Us to Want, which examines the Lord's Prayer as a means for forming holy desire. I hope, by the way, that none of my Canadian friends take offense at the cultural observations, which I offer here - and may have gotten entirely wrong. "Our family moved from Chicago to Toronto, Canada two years ago. And for all the obvious similarities between Canada and the U.S., cultural differences do exist. I need only to talk to my Canadian friends or stand in the grocery line to recognize them.
As a matter of routine here, cashiers at the grocery store do not whip items over the scanner into the hands of pimply 16-year-olds bagging for minimum wage. Instead, cashiers pluck items from the conveyor belt, one by one, scanning and bagging each individually with such apparent lack of haste that clearly, time is not of the essence.
I once irritably timed the inefficiency: 15 minutes.
Standing at the checkout in Toronto, I begin recognizing my patriotic allegiance to convenience and ease. These values are the currency of American culture.
And it’s made me wonder: Have ease and convenience also become my currency of prayer?"
Find the rest of the article, "When God's Will is Harder Than We Expect," here.