When God Doesn't Listen To Me
Ask And You Shall Receive
Going to catholic school growing up, we were taught that God was all-knowing. He saw everything, heard everything and he would even know what you were thinking. We were also taught: "Ask and you shall receive". I was a little confused. Why did I have to ask, if God already knew what I wanted? Then of course the "catch": God doesn't always give you what you want, but he'll give you what you need. Again, confusion, because if God always gives you what you need, then why were there so many homeless people, sick, starving and abused children, violence, and crime, etc.? Then we were taught about Adam and Eve, free will and consequences. It's a lot for a child to decipher. Not only is it difficult for a child to decipher, it's difficult for an adult, especially when we are troubled and ask God for help.
The Carrot Game
Even though I know it's wrong, I can't count the number of arguments I have had with God. I would get so frustrated that he wouldn't barter with me no matter what kind of compromises I was willing to make, if he would just let me have what I wanted. I couldn't believe he wasn't listening to me. It wasn't like I was asking for fortune or fame. I was only asking for something I thought he wanted me to have anyway...Love and Happiness. It seemed like God was playing, what I refer to as "The Carrot Game". Dangle the one thing she wants, and take it away. It seemed like he would put a wonderful man in my life, watch me fall hard for him, and then, without warning or reason, take him away. When I found myself in this situation on one too many times, I finally sat down and wrote God a three page letter, asking why I never got to keep any of the good ones. He didn't answer me. Why wasn't he listening? Did he not have time to read my letter? How many times and in how many different ways could I pray for the one thing I truly wanted? Then one day, my very dear, wise aunt bestowed a wonderful piece of advice on me. Advice that I always try to follow, even when it's difficult. She told me to "Put A Stamp On It".
Put A Stamp On It
I don't remember any of our conversation that day, except the advice to "Put A Stamp On It." If I had to guess, I'd probably think the conversation went something like: "I don't understand why God's not listening to me. I keep praying and praying, but he's not answering." She asked me if, when I put a stamp on an envelope and put it in the mailbox, did I ever give it a second thought after it's been dropped or did I just assume it would get to where it was meant to be? I thought she had changed the subject, but answered her saying that I never gave it a second thought. So, she told me to do the same thing with my prayers. Just say the prayer one time, "Put A Stamp On It" and let it go. If my prayer didn't come through, it wasn't that God wasn't listening, it was just that his answer was "No". However, a "No" answer had to be o.k. with me, because it just meant that God had something else in mind for me and we all know that "Father knows best". My aunt also gave me some other good advice that day that I have taken to heart and always do my best to remember. She told me it's o.k. to be disappointed when God doesn't give us what we want, but don't forget to be grateful when he's given us what we need.
I still don't have the guy I asked for. I actually believe I may just be in the midst of another round of the "Carrot Game" again, but it's o.k, because I'm grateful for the family and friends that God has blessed me with. The same ones who always seem to be there to pick up the pieces when the game is over.