Posted by: Michael Miller | 2014/01/15

Holy Hot Tub

And you’ll think love is to pray – but I’m sorry I don’t pray that way.
– partial lyrics from “Tainted Love” by Soft Cell

I can only recall telling one person the following; though perhaps I’ve let it slip out to others over the years. Either way, very few people know this about me.

I often pray when I’m in the hot tub at the gym.

It’s odd, I know. The idea of sitting half-naked in 100 degree water and saying a few “Our Fathers” is probably foreign to, well, everyone.

Hot Tub

Is this my church?

Yet at some point over the years, I’ve gotten into the habit of lowering my head and knocking out a few scripted prayers to God and having a one-way conversation with the Big Guy while soothing a few aching muscles from working out.

Perhaps, originally, I just needed something to do. I mean, when you’re alone with your thoughts, you have to think of something, right?

Or maybe at one point in my life, I was dealing with issues that required some deeper reflection and the hot tub provided that “me-time” for it.

And I’m not a religious person per se. If anything, my interest in religion is more academic than spiritual. I enjoy the meaning behind the rituals, the stories, and trying to understand where that fine-line is located between myth and historical fact. Besides, religion penetrates deep (sometimes too much so) into people’s daily lives and to not be aware would be like missing a big piece of society’s puzzle.

So what do I pray for? Technically this is privileged information but I’ll tell you anyway…

First and foremost, I thank God for the Terror Twins. Every session starts with a simple Thank You for the two little guys who mean everything to me.

Too often, I think, people slam God right away for selfish reasons; for materialistic things. That’s not my style.

Next I pray for good health. Again, I start with the twins. I ask that they continue to be happy and healthy and for Matt to continue to kick autism’s ass (and yes, I use that word. I’m sure God’s fine with it.). Then work my way through family (wife, in-laws, siblings and so forth) because, like many families, ours is loaded with bad habits and genes that help keep hospitals in business.

Only then do I start in with myself. I ask G to look out for my own health: to drop a few pounds, to NOT have a sore back, to allow my plantar fascia to feel better, etc.

I ask for guidance to be a good husband, father, and provider. To give me patience with the wife and kids and to help me be a happier human.

I’m not someone who prays to win the lottery nor do I pray for a bigger house (and I’ve never once asked for more hair). I think the worst thing I’ve ever prayed for was for Sarah Palin to be given permanent strep throat. But then again? Don’t we all want that?

Five minutes, a few times a week. That’s all. Some might say that’s not enough but I think it’s just right. It lets God know that I’m appreciative what he’s done for me and my family while at the same time, providing temporary relief from 3-sets of burpees. It’s a win-win, really.

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  1. Nice post and going well until the usual, mean-spirited dig about Sarah Palin. Voice lessons could help for sure, but I do not want to wish bad health on anyone.

    All in all, Palin is going about living her life like the rest of us — getting through it as best we can and I find little fault with that. Especially because since she did an honest job as governor and can field strip a moose.


    • Mean spirited? Eh. Maybe. Though I was leaning more towards comedic value.


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