The dog ate my Bible and other lame excuses for not praying

Hi, God, it’s me, Lorraine!

You haven’t heard from me in a while, I’ll admit — and, yes, I know I promised to start and end my day with prayer, but things have been so hectic I hardly have time to read the psalms and Gospel passages. I’m not going to use that lame excuse about the dog eating my Bible, because, as you know, we only have a hamster. But here’s what’s going on.

First, there’s Facebook. I know you have other matters to attend to, so maybe you haven’t checked it out yet, but imagine a big conglomeration of people, some of whom I know very well, some of whom I’ve never actually met — and they all send me messages multiple times a day.

It might be something profound like a great quote from a writer like C.S. Lewis or Flannery O’Connor — or it might just be a funny saying their kid came up with that morning.

In any case, it takes time to scroll through multiple posts from the 80 or so friends I have, and tell them I “like” what they’ve said. This is really important, Lord, because people’s feelings can get hurt if you don’t give them a nod of approval.

Of course, I also have to see which of my friends have “liked” what I posted. For example, yesterday I uploaded a photo of these incredibly scrumptious peanut butter cookies I made, and you should have seen how many people gave me a thumbs up.

Sometimes folks share a link to an insightful article, Lord, which can take time to read and comment on. Admittedly, though, not all the items are that serious. I mean, someone shared this cute video about how to separate egg yolks from whites, and someone else posted one of cats doing the cutest tricks.

Speaking of cute, there are these fun quizzes you can take. Lord, did you know that if I were a dog, I’d be a mutt? Isn’t that perfect, in a way? And of all the characters on “Downton Abbey,” I’d be Lady Grantham! I know, what a surprise, right?

Then, of course, there is email. Now, some of it really is important stuff, like, say, the bank notifying me my statement is ready — or readers writing me about a column, maybe just to say “atta girl” or maybe to disagree with something.

Admittedly, other emails aren’t quite so vital, like jokes people send me, which I often forward on to other unsuspecting victims. All this takes time, of course.

What’s that, Lord? Full disclosure? You’re right. There are also those blasted online sales, which I just have to take a peek at. I mean, when the sweaters are reduced 50 percent, a girl just has to add one to her wardrobe, right? Wouldn’t it almost be a crime not to? What’s that, Lord — you say I have enough sweaters already? Well, OK, I’ll concede that point.

But the cosmetics sales! Did you know you can get free packages of these tiny tubes of moisturizer when you purchase something for — oh, you knew that! And, sure, I’ll admit I don’t really need another lipstick in the wrong shade — but the idea of getting something for free is so tempting.

Huh? Oh, good point. I guess it isn’t really free if you have to buy something to get it.

Dear God, I promise to do better. Right now, in fact, I’m going to get my Bible and — oh, wait, there’s that squirrel outside my window staring at me. I must get a photo and post it on Facebook. Then it’s back to prayer!

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Lorraine Murray’s latest book is a mystery, “Death Dons a Mask.” She also has written “The Abbess of Andalusia,” a biography of Flannery O’Connor. Her email is lorrainevmurray@yahoo.com.

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