My friends at work often put up with my broken record of a complaint about the sea of emails I have to wade through every day, most of them trying to persuade me to write stories about things our magazine doesn’t cover—in some cases, things we’ve never covered. For example:
We are pleased to invite you to an all-expense paid trip to the hippest new resort in Denmark, in connection with a travel feature we’d like to see in your magazine during the first quarter of next year.
(A) We don’t trade free trips for stories. (B) I don’t accept free trips at all.
(C) We’ve never covered Denmark.
Just following up on my email from yesterday to see if you’ll be coming to our resort in Demark. We need to know ASAP because the trip is just two weeks away.
(A) Again, no-can-do on Denmark. (B) An ASAP of your own making does not create a sense of urgency on my part.
We think your readers would love an interview with [Actor’s Name Here], who can tell you how he prepped for his new role as a serial killer by telephone from his slick pad in L.A.
(A) Why would they enjoy that? (B) Unless, by “L.A.,” you mean Louisiana or Lower Alabama, Actor’s Name Here is out of our territory.
For whatever reason, those emails popped into my head during prayer time this morning. I wonder if some of my prayers sound, to God, the way those emails sound to me:
I promise I’ll do so much better at XYZ if you’ll just get me through ABC.
[Sounds like somebody’s trying to bargain. That’s not how prayer works.]
Just asking one more time . . .
[Maybe I should stop asking and try listening?]
I think it would be great for everybody if you would do X for me.
[Is that so, Miss Priss? That's what Grandme used to call me when I got too big for my britches.]
Prayer isn’t Let’s Make a Deal. And it’s not the Home Shopping Network. I’m working on sending up more gratitude and fewer laundry lists. Grace and gratitude to you this week.