I said a prayer as I arrived at this conference.
It was a small one...."Please God may I get 5 minutes with Ann Pelo" - Although I am more than sure God knows who Ann Pelo is - for your information , she is the keynote speaker and visionary leader in our field whose thinking and practice in Early Childhood Education has so transformed my own thinking and practice. You'd want to meet her, she's THAT cool.
I pray often.
About many things and situations and sometimes (likely not often enough) to say "Thank you"
Sometimes, like any ritual or familiar practice, it just kind of rolls around in my head and I am not as reverent about it as I could be or should be.
Yes, I do pray for parking spaces occasionally.
It makes me both thankful and guilty when I get one.
One should not abuse a power like prayer for small things - so I tell myself.
This is not a correct or helpful theology.
Prayer is a conversation with someone who loves me. And conversations are about big things and little things and conversations happen continually. Not just on a Sunday morning after the Pastor says "Shall we pray..." So even when I said my little "Please please please let me meet Ann Pelo" prayer - I meant it but I had little faith.
Honestly most days my faith it pitiful - God loves me and like a father wants good things for me...I have NO reason not to believe this, He has never let me down EVER.
But still I doubt He would do this one small thing for me.
Furthermore why did I have to pray this I hear you ask? Why not just walk up to the woman and say "Hey Ann, I am Nicky and I am so pleased to meet you"?
Because... I lack courage.
So I prayed and God came through.
I walked into a huge ballroom of 300 people and as I walked through the doors and was looking for a place to sit down....A woman came toward me and held out her hand and said "Hi , I am Ann Pelo".
I am sure I sounded like an eejit as I did not say all the things I had rehearsed to say to her - we just chatted for a couple minutes and moved on.
I wanted to fist pump the air and Yeehaw a little.
Instead I offered up another short prayer. "Thanks God".
Today we boarded buses to go to visit child care centres.
There were three buses.
I got on mine and chose to sit alone closer to the back. Just as I was feeling a little awkward about sitting alone.
Ann Pelo got on the bus, walked up the aisle and sat down next to me.
20 minutes of heartfelt conversation and connection - truly a gift!