Featured Favorite: The Praying Mantis

Praying Mantis (Dollarphotoclub.com)

Praying Mantis (Dollarphotoclub.com)

What does a praying mantis have to do with a new job?

I was barely out of college. My journalism degree helped me land a part-time office job with the publisher of a Texas restaurant guide. The hours were flexible and so I could continue my prayer time schedule of 8 a.m. Mass, then prayer until 9. The publication folded in less than a year.

Then came the God-incidence. I worked as a volunteer one weekend in the pressroom of a large Catholic conference. The manager of the pressroom was the editor of the diocesan newspaper. He was looking for a copyeditor. The job would bring some opportunities to write stories, interview people and get published with a byline.

After a short interview in his office the next week, he hired me. Then he smiled and teased, “Can you type?” He became my mentor.

So here I was on my first morning of this exciting dream job. I was so stimulated that morning that I got up early to iron an outfit I determined would make a good first impression on the staff. But the iron was too hot and scorched the blouse. Later, I was thankful because that definitely was not the right outfit.

I scurried around getting dressed in a more casual suit and took off for the Chancery office across town.  The stoplight a mile into my new journey was red — for a long time. As I waited for my turn, a praying mantis landed on my windshield wiper. It stayed there  looking at me through the windshield as I stared back.

Then I checked my watch. It was 8:00. Prayer time. I thought to myself, “This praying mantis is really out of his element. Okay, Lord, you sent me a silent messenger to remind me that I need to get my prayer time with you back on my schedule.”

He sent the praying mantis, Mantis religiosa, as a humorous reminder of our prayer time together, which I neglected that morning. Prompted by the praying mantis, I soon found the chapel at the Chancery, making it my quiet place for prayer.

If we are unfaithful he remains faithful, for he cannot deny himself.” (2 Timothy 2:13)

What kind of humorous or unusual reminders has the Lord sent you?

 (© 2013 Updated 2016 Nancy H C Ward) 

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About Nancy Ward

Nancy HC Ward is a journalist, author, and speaker who blogs about Catholicism, her conversion, and Christian community at JoyAlive.net,
 7 websites and 7 magazines. She loves to share her faith story and help others share theirs through her Sharing Your Faith Stories seminars, also available on DVD. She contributed four chapters to The Catholic Mom’s Prayer Companion. She facilitates the Dallas/Fort Worth Catholic Writers and a critique group for the Catholic Writers Guild, where she serves as a board member.
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4 Responses to Featured Favorite: The Praying Mantis

  1. my youngset daughter is starting journalism degree at Carleton University (the best place in Canada)- she loved these reflections

    • Nancy says:

      Journalism training helps the writer with the skills needed to shine: observing details, asking questions, meeting deadlines. This is especially true is she can work on the school publications rather than theoretical exercises. My best to her!

  2. Leslie Lynch says:

    LOVE this story, Nancy! Offhand, I can’t think of any to share, but you just added a smile to my morning!
    Blessings,
    Leslie

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