Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Does wishing make it so?

Isabella, my three year old granddaughter, said to her daddy, “Put on your shoes, Daddy, and let’s go get Grammy at the airport.” How sweet, I thought, when my son Andy emailed me her comment. She wanted to see me!
But here’s the rub—I wasn’t at the airport.
A month ago, though, when Isabella put on her shoes,climbed into her car seat, and her daddy drove to the airport---there was Grammy! So Isabella figured that all she had to do was repeat her actions and Grammy would appear.
She’s at the age when children think, “If I cover my eyes, nobody can see me.”
We grown-ups chuckle at children’s mistaken understanding of the way the world works, but it occurs to me that sometimes we do the same thing---especially where God is concerned.
If I pray, “Oh Lord, please make such-and-such happen in my life,” and it doesn’t happen, [If Grammy isn’t at the airport], I may sigh and say, “Huh! Jesus said, ‘Ask and you shall receive,’ but look, I did ask and I didn’t receive. Guess that proves it, prayer doesn’t work.”
Nooooo. If Isabella doesn’t see Grammy when she wants to see her, this doesn’t mean Grammy will never appear. It means Grammy comes on her time frame, not Isabella’s.
And we need to be clear about what we are asking God for. Am I motivated to call into play God’s kingdom on earth? ["Your kingdom is come when your will is done"] Am I praying to be open to God’s will—rather than my own? To believe that God has my greater good in mind?
Or am I merely “wishing” and calling it prayer? Like a little girl who thinks she can wish her Grammy into being there?
Maybe this is something to think about.