A Good Idea for Someone Else

In March of 2011 at the Catholic Writers Guild Online Writer’s Conference, I was fortunate to take part in Sarah Reinhard‘s blogging workshop.

Toward the end of the week, Jennifer Fitz started discussing starting a Catholic Writers Guild (CWG) blog. Everyone immediately thought it was a tremendous idea and we started brainstorming.

There were so many great ideas being tossed out that in an attempt to keep up with the rest of the crew, I threw out an idea we’d been kicking around in some discussion boards: a prayer chain post. Sarah and Jennifer both thought it was a good idea and added it to the list. My job done, I logged off the site to go to work.

At lunch, I logged back into the conference site and there was a message from Jennifer telling me I’m the CWG Prayer Chain Blogmaster.

My first reaction was, “That was an idea for someone else, not me. I want to write cool blog posts about Catholic professional athletes or something.”

Just how was I going to pull off weekly prayer chain duty? I had no idea how to do a prayer chain post. Nevertheless, not wanting to let Sarah, Jennifer and the CWG down, I accepted the challenge and started working.

I wrote the first draft post inviting people to post their prayer request as a blog comment. It was a good first step, but bland and unwelcoming.

Next, I added a prayer to the post to ask for God’s help with our intentions. Hey, it started looking better.

I then decided to change from a permanent intention prayer to a prayer changed on a monthly basis to add more variety. That worked.

But there was still something missing from the weekly post, something more immediate and timely.

Sitting in church before Mass on the week before my first CWG Prayer Chain Post was due, I flipped through the missalette and read a passage from one of the readings about asking God for His help.

Then it hit me: the missing piece to the prayer chain post format was a weekly passage from scripture. I’ve always believed God talks to us and we hear Him only when we shut the heck up and listen.

It may have taken God to hit me over the head with a sledgehammer, but I listened. I listened and something I honestly didn’t really want to do has become a great experience for me.

I have been snapped awake in a rebirth of reading scriptures. This past year-and-a-half of truly listening to the readings in Mass and reflecting on the week’s passage in the missalette have been rewarding to me (and hopefully to followers of the CWG Prayer Chain posts).

Each week, I come across an appropriate passage, and then try to remember it by my personal method of associating the chapter and verse numbers with football player jersey numbers. Once the chapter and verse numbers are put to memory, I can look them up in my Bible or on catholic.org when I get home and put together the final post of the week.

My spiritual life has become deeper and more fulfilling since I reluctantly stepped into the role of CWG prayer chain blogmaster. It has been a blessing.

A good idea for someone else became a great experience for me. Believe me, people: God knows what he’s doing.

Copyright © 2012, Mike Hays

Mike Hays

Mike Hays

Mike Hays is a husband, a father of three, a lifelong Kansan and works as a molecular microbiologist. Besides writing, he has been a high school strength and conditioning coach, a football coach and a baseball coach. His debut middle grade historical fiction novel, THE YOUNGER DAYS, is a 2012 recipient of The Catholic Writer's Guild Seal of Approval Award. You can find it at the publisher's website or on Amazon.

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