Thursday, September 20, 2007

Easy pray for single websurfers

[This entry, proposing a way to put the Internet to good use, originally appeared last May. I'm taking the opportunity to repost it for those who missed it because Father Charlie Donahue of UC Berkeley's Newman Hall complimented me it after I described its premise during my talk at the university Wednesday night.]

A reader writes that, his engagement having ended, he is now "back to the proverbial square 1 on another Web site, resigned to go through the whole process of being stood up, ignored, and made to jump through the same old hoops all over again."

I assume that he's talking about the experience of online personals, one which I know all too well. I wish I could say that I no longer belong to a personals site, but the last one I joined was like the "Catholic singles" version of a Roach Motel™. After charging me a small fortune for a "lifetime membership," it gave me no option to quit once I realized I was wasting my lifetime searching its membership. Now I am forever on the site's membership rolls as "temporarily inactive" — as though I plan at any moment to return to waste precious hours that I will never get back. No thanks.

My advice for anyone who is looking with dread at having to "go through the whole process" of online dating is to do an experiment, just for tonight.

During the time when you would normally sign on to a personals site and check your messages, don't; just let the messages sit. (Believe me, anyone who is truly interested in you will forgive you for taking a day to get back to them. If they fall in love with someone else in the meantime, you'll know it wasn't meant to be.)

Then, instead of surfing the personals, search Technorati for the words "prayer request."

Pick three requests from the first page of results. Click on each one, read the whole request, and then pray for the requester's intentions, according to God's will.

That's it.

guarantee you that if you do that tonight, then tomorrow you will be closer to entering into a happy, lasting marriage than you would be if you spent the entire evening IMing someone on a personals site. What's more, you will be better prepared spiritually for meeting your spouse during the course of your everyday, non-websurfing life.

Just try it for one night. I just did.