Welcome to Real Life. Language is alive, fluid, and flexible. The meanings of words often change with the culture. Sometimes, they change with the speaker.

By Mike Farruggia
Whatever, what-e-ver, whatevs, w.e. It’s the cynical sigh of our generation. It roughly translates: I could care less.

At times we hear the gracious whatever, as in: Whatever you would like, dear.  I gladly relinquish my right to decide.  I’d like you to be satisfied.

My friend Beth’s whatever captures a whole new meaning. It is her favorite prayer. “Whatever.”  She’s not being cynical or even gracious.  She’s being honest. Beth trusts God. She believes he loves her completely and knows what is best for her. When she prays “whatevershe is releasing her life, her desires, and her future to God. Her prayer is not naive. My friend has experienced abandonment, infidelity, abuse, chronic fatigue, anger, divorce and more. When she prays “Whatever, Lord,” she understands that it could mean pain, sadness, or loss.  She prays it anyway. For, through all she has endured, God has been faithful. He’s brought beauty from ashes. She is fearless. She is free. She loves to pray, “Whatever.”

I recently attended a women’s retreat. The speaker Wanda Walborn[1] challenged us to begin our weekend with a “prayer of permission”: 

Lord, do in me anything you need to do,
so that you can do through me everything you want to do.

It is a powerful prayer. Yes, God is sovereign and will accomplish his will. Yet, it is also true that God will not force us to draw near to him.  He stands at the door and knocks. He waits for us to open it. He would not force the Children of Israel to step into their inheritance in the Promised Land (see “Battling Giants” blog 11-11-11). Neither will he force us to step into our spiritual inheritance as Children of God. We must desire it. Sometimes that deeper walk comes through pain, sadness, or loss.

Whatever. It’s a beautiful prayer. It’s a prayer that opens the door to a Real Life.

Lord, give me the courage to pray “whatever.”  I want to know you and love you and trust you more.

Something to think about…
  • Reminder: When God removes things from our lives it is because he wants to replace them with something better.
  • More encouragement from Wanda Walborn in experiencing God:  Article “The 8 Minute Stillness Challenge” 

[1] Wanda Walborn is Director of Spiritual Development at Nyack College, New York.
Image by Mike Farruggia, United States of Whatever. 


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