Saying a Prayer and The Silent Majority - reflections from Barnham-based composer and musician Robin Mayhew.

Robin
Robin

As each day seems to bring more bad news from both home and abroad my mind has started to try and unravel just what is going on and what is actually happening. To read on you will need some imagination and I trust some may get a little direction from my thoughts.

First God made the universe. Why He made it we may never know - I like to think it’s an experiment and God is watching to see just what happens. When He had started the universe He selected a few planets, made them suitable and put simple life on them in the form of plants. These beautiful worlds with oceans, land masses and mountains, days and nights, fresh water with trees and flowers that could grow and multiply in the sunlight. I’m sure God was very pleased with His creation and possibly as He watched and saw the seasons and weather change He wondered how living creatures would fare in His experiment so He created a range of animals and placed them on the planets at different locations and sat back to watch the results. As time went by it became obvious that certain animal designs could not survive and sure enough several species died out over the next few millions of years leaving the ones best suited to inhabit the planets. There had been some mutations and evolvements that seemed to be a little more adaptable but ultimately they too failed. Everything on these worlds became very stable with the various animals either grazing or hunting prey and a good balance was achieved with all the varieties happily co-existing.

Though time itself matters little to God and the millions of years that had passed were to Him no particular inconvenience He perhaps became a little bored with His experiment and made up His mind to do something radical. He decided to focus on one planet in particular to see how things would develop and so Earth was born. Till this point all the animals on His Earth lived by instinct alone and had no conception or awareness of their circumstances or even their surroundings. They didn’t marvel at the sunrise or the storm, look up to the heavens or out to sea they simply just ate the food they found or hunted, multiplied and eventually died leaving their offspring to continue. God made a huge decision and not too long ago put a thinking creature called mankind on Earth to see what would happen. He made a few slightly different colours and gave them His gift of consciousness, call it a spirit or a soul so they are able to think like no other creature previously here and which, if all went well and the spirit was pure and without sin, He could redeem when the physical being died. He decided not to interfere in any way and that mankind would have to deal with natural weather and geological changes that would occur from time to time and other natural occurrences such as disease. Because mankind can think and can understand what is going on around him it soon became obvious to each one that there is one very important fact to accept and that was the realisation that at some point in the future he or she will die. No other living creature has this knowledge or awareness and it opens up a whole new set of rules and complications. The fact that man knows he will die and that his time on Earth is finite everything changes. All the emotions are born such as love and hate, ambition and envy, happiness and sadness, greed and lust, creativity and belief and good and evil. This intelligence led to language and the individuals and groups of people started to communicate with each other which led in some cases to agreements and in others arguments. It soon became obvious to the different groups wherever they were situated on planet Earth that some greater force must have been responsible for the creation of everything and so religions and rituals became an important part of life with each group worshipping and giving thanks to their particular mystical, heavenly being and so prayer came about.

How many times have you lain in bed and prayed or felt you were praying? Praying for something to happen or something to stop happening. Praying for success, praying for wealth, praying for happiness, praying that the world would change and that everything would be OK. Well if you’re praying to God nothing you pray for is going to happen unless you are prepared to make it happen. You can’t pray and expect to win the lottery. You can’t pray and get a new job. You can’t pray for someone to be healed. In fact you can’t really pray to God for anything except his support and that is where faith comes into the equation. Worshipping and believing in God is one thing - praying to Him is another. God will do nothing physically that will change anything in or on Earth, it is His experiment to see what will happen if man is left to his own devices. We are the only creatures that can change, influence or alter the course of events on this planet. God can’t stop a flood. God can’t stop a war. God cannot stop someone dying. Quite simply God cannot do the gardening or housework and you wouldn’t expect Him to so why think He can do anything to change what is happening around each of us. He can’t. The only way to change things or to achieve what one desires is to do it oneself. But you can ask God for help and the help that comes in the form of faith is knowing you can think or pray things through with someone else who has tremendous power and find a direction which may lead to success.

Now I started by saying that God can’t do anything physically to help us but the Power of God can. 1400 years before Jesus Christ was born Moses was leading his people out of Egypt and he must have been thinking ‘Now we must make a fresh start and try to keep it all together’. He took some time out and walked up Mount Sinai and he must have prayed for guidance, we read he was up there for 40 days and 40 nights praying. Through his time of prayer and meditation he felt that the way forward was to write out the ten most important things that kept coming into his mind to keep everything on track. God didn’t come down or send thunderbolts to chisel out pieces of stone but Moses, with the Power of God and his faith, probably scratched the words onto some slate like slabs and carried them down saying ‘This is what God has said to me’. It was, in a way, what God had said as Moses had asked for guidance. And there we have it - the Ten Commandments ready to be used. And, by the way, it’s not just Christianity that has these commandments. Islam has ten and most religions have some form of rules, some so close to Moses’ you hardly can tell the difference.

Now here we are again with some of the most disgusting things happening in our world from so called religious extremists waging war and filling the world with hate, child abuse and murder that is just unacceptable coupled with a population explosion which is putting more pressure not only on all the nations but also the ever quickening destruction of the natural wild creatures that once existed in perfect harmony - and still God is watching - watching to see just what will happen to His creation and experiment if left to this thinking creature called mankind. 2015 years ago He did, as all Christians believe, send His Son to try and set things straight when He saw that the commandments Moses had written with His help were becoming lost or ignored. It’s up to each and everyone of us to pray and reason with ourselves for guidance and do just what ever we can to help or try and help put things right. I know that you will probably be saying - what can I do to stop a war or how can I help those poor victims of abuse and I too can understand that it’s not easy but imagine if everyone conducted themselves in such a way to help each other and did just a little to make things better it would certainly help the situation. He must be feeling a little sad to see the way things are developing with His mighty experiment and instead of a beautiful, peaceful world full of coffee coloured people all happy and loving each other and striving forward He sees an ever more restless and troubled planet. We could just sit back, close our front doors like we all tend to do and say or pray that the politicians sort it out. But that prayer, a personal contribution and a little bit of action by each of us may help a lot more.

Back to imagination. Just imagine if every Christian in the world, or for that matter, and much better still, all worshipers from the 21 major religions whoever their God may be, wrote a note or spoke to their leaders saying ‘can we discuss just what it is that is making these dreadful things happen and try to find and agree the way to put things right’ what a fantastic difference it would make. With the exception of Buddhists, who still wait for proof of God’s existence and therefore watch the religions of the world argue and fight, why can’t the rest of us stop and confer before it all goes completely wrong. If all these ‘religions’ believe in a God and believe that we humans are spiritual beings wandering in our particular God’s universe surely it’s possible to co-habit peacefully despite discrepancies and variations, stories, legends and rituals. After all, as I said at the beginning, if God created other similar planets to our Earth which can support life and are currently vacant then to continue God’s experiment surely it’s up to man to find the way to travel across space and find them. I’m sure the secret of how to do that is here to be found and should it be found there would be a huge change in how mankind thinks. Perhaps the secret is that when a pure and faithful spirit is set free from its Earthly host it can simply, and in a moment, find all its past loved ones on which ever one of those other, beautiful planets they happen to be leaving behind all the evil that develops on Earth. If things continue as they are on Earth the evil man may eventually destroy himself and any remaining good people. Fortunately the good spirits will be able to enjoy heaven with friends and family spirits while the evil just evaporate and become nothing finishing God’s experiment.

Also consider this:- In 1941 a Christian book titled “In The Evening” by Carol Cochrane was published. It’s a tiny book of 63 pages retelling and explaining some of the stories about Jesus often with a prayer to finish each section. On page 5 she writes a short story about His early life. This section concludes with a prayer as follows.......remember this prayer was written just as World War 2 started in which, it’s estimated, that somewhere between 60 to 85 million people died world wide as a result.

Our Father, we pray for the children who are growing up in a world of to-day, where there is bloodshed and unhappiness and bewilderment. In them we have the hope of a world made new, and in their hands is the future of the nations. Help us lead these children to choose the best, that they may grow up steadfast and fearless, true followers of the King of Kings. Amen

So this Christian prayer was published and no doubt has been read and said by many people over the last 70 plus odd years yet it has done nothing to stop the constant unrest. Here is the world of today still full of disagreement, horror, hatred, bloodshed and unhappiness and I for one feel that things will get worse unless we all try and address the situation before us. It is the front door shutting silent majority who must act if things are ever going to change for the better. Closing one’s front door, saying a prayer and feeling that one has done their bit is simply no good.

Robin Mayhew