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Ultimate Onces: A Reflective Prayer

God, I often have these moments that seem utterly metaphysical or existential. I’ll be standing in a grocery line with people. I’ll have a basket of items and there’ll be a scanner. And I’ll think: Never ever again, will this configuration of things happen. Never will I ever stand in line with these exact people, in this exact order, at this exact time of day, with these exact items, wearing these exact clothes, with this exact cashier, paying this exact price. This will only happen once. Or, God, I’ll be sitting in traffic and think something similar: Never will this traffic configuration happen exactly the same again—the same cars in the same order with the same exact people in them at this same exact time of day. Or, God, at church, it’ll hit me: Never will we ever have the same sermon, these same songs, the same people, and so on—it’ll never be exactly the same. This will literally be the only time in history this ever happens. Once. And that just blows my mind. Never will I, ever again, write this same prayer. I won’t use these exact words in this exact order on this exact device at this exact time of day ever again. Once. It’s a truly unique moment. And then I think of other ultimate onces: You creating the world. You painting the first rainbow. Jesus, your incarnation. Your crucifixion. Your resurrection. Your ascension. Spirit, you at Pentecost. You indwelling. And, Triune God, that Great Wedding Feast ahead—the ultimate once that shall endure from then forward, forever. Thanks be to God. Amen.

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