I think if there is one area where I might actually have something in common with God, it’s in the area I want to touch on today. In reality, I’m sure He handles stuff like this very differently than I do, but I think I understand Him a little better knowing how I feel about this.
About 10 years ago, I dated a woman who lives in the Sacramento area. Now that I live up here, we live about 20 minutes apart. Shortly after I moved up here, we got together for dinner once just to catch up. Nothing big. Since then, I tried to keep in touch with the random text message just to say hello and see how things are going. But literally, the only time I ever hear from her is when she wants something. First, she needed help moving from her apartment to another one in the complex. So I went to help. A few months later, her broken down second car had been tagged and was going to be towed if she didn’t move it from the parking spot it had occupied for several months. I showed up to push it to another part of the parking lot. A few months later it was a phone call to help her map directions to a place she needed to drive to because she didn’t have the internet and couldn’t do it herself. This week, it was to tell me her son is selling something for a fundraiser.
I have to admit, I get really annoyed when someone sees me and reaches out to me only when they want something from me. There’s no, “hey, how are you?” just for the sake of genuine interest and respect for the other person. There is no relationship. She rarely even responded to my messages saying hello. I’m her personal Santa Claus. Does she have such little respect for me or awareness that she blows me off except for when she wants a favor? I have actually gotten to the point to where I don’t even respond to her requests anymore, much less fulfill them.
If you think I’m writing this just to rip on someone, you don’t know me very well.
This person’s actions have caused me to stop and take a good look at myself. I have had to ask myself if I have been guilty of treating God like she treats me. I’m completely certain I have. I probably don’t even want to know how often I’ve been guilty of it, or even how recently.
You’ve probably heard the saying that there are no atheists in foxholes. Well, God is not looking for foxhole Christians. I don’t want to be one who only calls upon Him when I am in need. Am I so self-absorbed that I expect Him to be at my beck and call whenever I get into a scrape or just want Him to fix something for me? Is he reaching out to me, and I just ignore Him?
It’s not enough to even go to church every Sunday and sing songs and take notes during the sermon. It’s not enough to even talk about Him with friends, or to write about Him in a blog.
These things are all good, and they’re all a big part of my life. But I must serve God because He is God. He is not my own personal Santa Claus. How can I justify being annoyed at a person because they treat me the way I sometimes treat the Creator of the universe?
Thankfully, God is much more forgiving and understanding than I can be. Despite my sometimes cavalier attitude toward Him, He remains faithful to me. When I call Him, He’s there. I just have to make sure I’m not only calling out to Him when I want Him to do something for me.
The resilience and buoyancy of a relationship, any relationship, is revealed during the storms of life. The building and maintenance of that relationship is done at dry dock.