Thursday, September 3, 2015

Obligation or Privilege

If your little girl cried out to you for help, would you respond?

From the house, you hear her out in the yard, scared and calling for you.
Nothing would be more important than responding to that cry.
  • You wouldn't stop to check the list of chores she was supposed to do to make sure she'd done them all.  
  • You wouldn't hesitate, even it she was in the middle of doing something you'd told her not to do.  
She's yours, and your love isn't dependent on whether or not she's perfect.  She can come to you anytime she wants to. She can ask you a million questions, she can complain and argue and disagree, she can push against the boundaries, and she's still yours.  Always will be.

Consider then the Father of us all.  A religious mind is perhaps overly full of rules, of requirements to be met, those things which we are obliged to do in order to qualify for attention.  Prayer might be on such a list of obligations, but then we doubt our prayers will be heard, perhaps because we see our own imperfection.  We don't deserve His attention.  That part is true.  His love for us isn't there because we deserve it.

As a father, my love for my daughter isn't there because she qualified for it through some performance checklist.  It's because she's my child, a precious part of my own life whom I love without reservations.  The fact that she has done so many things incredibly well brings joy and pleasure, but the love was there all along.

I wonder sometimes if we might doubt our prayers are heard because we're disappointed in ourselves today and figure He is too.  That's not how it works, we're told.  He hears every prayer; it's a privilege He gives us all.  Even when we're not at our best.