My song today is ‘Unanswered Prayers’. This is a song co-written and recorded by American country music artist, Garth Brooks. The song hit the Number 1 spot on the”‘Billboards’ Hot Country Songs” chart in 1991. It was written by Garth Brooks, Pat Alger, and Larry Bastian.
The song is one of Brooks' most popular recordings and is said to be one of the key tracks that helped his ‘No Fences’ album remain on the top of the charts for many months (the album spent over 30 weeks at Number 1 on Billboards Country Charts).
The story of the song: A man runs into his high school sweetheart at a football game in their hometown. As he introduces her to his wife, he reminisces about that past relationship and how he had once prayed so fervently that this girl would be his significant other forever. Both he and the ex-girlfriend, by this point, no longer see each other in the same way as they once did, as “time had changed” them both. Any embers of an old flame long died out and they gradually realise it would never have worked out for them as their own lives have. As he turns to his wife, he thanks God for not answering his original prayer, showing better judgment, and instead of putting him with a better woman, whom he sees as the greatest blessing in his life. The chorus advises the listener that, if God is not answering his or her prayers, that "just because He doesn't answer doesn't mean He does not care," and those unanswered prayers are "some of God's greatest gifts."
I recall well a headmaster who frequently said, “Be careful what you pray for, Bill. You might get it!” There is no doubt some prayers that are better answered and some which are definitely better left unanswered. As my mother used to often say, “Who knows the mind of God or the plans that the devil has in store for all of us. Billy?”
I often think about some sad and some bad things which have happened in my life. Had God answered my prayers at the time, God only knows where I would be now? Would I be a happier or less content person, a better or worse person, a kinder or less compassionate individual had God granted my prayer at the time of asking instead of leaving it unanswered? Who knows? The simple answer is God only knows!
There is a certain degree of heartache in knowing what is to come in one’s life, and I could not begin to even imagine a life without the element of pleasant surprise playing a part in it. And yet there is some consolation in having time to prepare for how one exits the stage on one’s final curtain call in the unlikely event of having some advance notice. I cannot tell you, as a person with three different body cancers (two of them terminal) whether I would prefer to choose the time of my final act or whether I would prefer to leave the house one sunny morning after just having kissed the love of my life, and be instantly killed with a smile on my face by a passing motorist a few minutes later as I crossed a busy road? I cannot tell you if I could ever decide that this amount of pain to stay alive is worth the life that is lived a bit longer or that no extension of one’s life beyond a certain pain threshold is worth the candle? What I can tell you is that I prefer to live my life from day to day and moment to moment. I can tell you that to feel pain is to know that one still lives and that when it is no longer possible to feel pain, it means that one has already died!
It takes considerable pressure from my shoulders not to be constantly burdened by taking life-threatening and life-saving decisions beyond the moment of their action. I am much assisted by being able to see one’s life made up of millions and millions of magical moments, randomly arranged in my kaleidoscopic experience earthly perception. I am even more pleased to possess enough faith to be able to place myself in the hands of God and to accept His will and whatever end lies in store for me in my final moments.
If I could be granted one certain wish today, it would be to take away any pain or sorrow that is felt now or in the future by my loving wife, children, family, and friends because of any sense of grief my absence may cause them. I would want their memory of my life to remain happy moments of reflection in theirs. I would not ask them to deny either my pain or my pleasure experienced during my happy life on earth. If it was possible for me to influence my loved ones beyond the grave, I would wish to instantly replace any future pain that memory alone of me can bring or sorrow create, with the certain knowledge that I will always look down favourably on them from the other side of life’s green sod with smiling eyes and a warm heart, and confidence they will be happy in their life. I would promise them that I will always remain a positive part in their future lives, and if there is any way that I can slip them some information from the other side about certain things to come their way that will alter their lives for better or worse, I will leave them in contented ignorance instead of worrying them with the possibility of any uncomfortable fact that could detract from their purpose of life.
Love and peace