Tonight begins the 60th National Day of Prayer. Millions of people will gather in ballrooms, campuses, churches, you name it, to, well, pray. The first Thursday of every May, National Day of Prayer, a holiday designated by Congress (and often challenged!), asks people "to turn to God in prayer and meditation." Sounds like something Americans could use right about now.
With the nation in a tizzy over the killing of Osama bin Laden, it seems like a good dose of prayer is just what the doctor ordered. Surely, death and violence have been on the brain lately -- whether it be reflecting on those who perished in 9/11, or simply rejoicing over the blood shed of the world's most sought-after terrorist. It seems like an appropriate time to sit down, even for a few minutes, and reflect -- even if you don't believe in God.
But, it also comes on a not-so good day. See, it's not just National Day of Prayer today, it's Cinco de Mayo! Woo-hoo! Time to party!
Cinco de Mayo is one of those great holidays where all people are responsible for is getting butt-wasted. Chug a Corona, sip a margarita, down a shot of Cuervo. There is no wrong way to do this holiday. You don't have to worry about buying anyone a gift (unless that gift is another beer), and you typically don't think about going to church on this day. (Tomorrow you should consider it, though. The sins of tonight surely will require repenting.)
So, crazy juxtaposition, huh? One of the most "religious" days of the year happens to fall on one of the most "sacrilegious" days of the year. Sure, there's all the "history" of Cinco de Mayo, but when you walk past a bar tonight, look real close and see if any of the patrons happen to be discussing Ignacio Zaragoza.
Which one will you celebrate? It's kind of a devil/angel shoulder thing, no? Will you sit for a few hours, take a personal inventory, and give thanks for all the blessings in your life? Or will you combine a can of Fresca and a few shots of vodka in an attempt to "create a Fresca-tini," followed by a really inappropriate comment to your co-worker? Which path shall you take?
Personally, I plan on trying to observe both. After work I will head out to a local watering hole, down a few cocktails, and when I return home, I shall sit in silence, praying for no hangover on Friday.
Which holiday will you celebrate today?
Image via ElvertBarnes/Flickr