Guest Post by Holly McCarthy
We human beings are a selfish lot – we seek out others only when we need them for some reason or the other. And this is exactly the same attitude we take when it comes to forging a relationship with God. We seek his blessings only we want something; we go to church only when we’re down in the dumps; and we pray only when we’re in trouble. We conveniently forget his existence when we’re happy and when things are going really well for us. We don’t need him when there are no problems that need to be handled and when relationships are smooth.
There’s an anecdote that talks of a dead person’s tour through heaven – he sees a very busy department where there are thousands of angels handling and responding to letters as they keep pouring in; they’re all requests for help from the people on earth. And then as he continues his stroll, he sees another department with just one lone angel sitting and twiddling his thumbs in boredom. He walks in and asks what work he’s supposed to do, and the angel replies, “I’m in charge of handling the letters of gratitude that come in from the people we’ve helped with their problems. As you can see, there are not many that write back thanking us for the assistance God has rendered.”
It may be just a fable, but there’s a lot of truth in the above story – we don’t take the time to offer our gratitude to God for helping us out when we really needed his grace. Instead of just running to him with our problems, or ranting and raving at the unfairness of it all, we should learn to think of God and spend some time with him in our thoughts even when things are going well for us. We can do that by:
• Setting aside a few minutes every day for prayer and worship
• Thanking God each time something good happens to us
• Helping people who are not as fortunate as we are
• Believing in God and his grace even when things are really looking down
• Teaching our children the value of a good relationship with God
• Talking to God as we would to our best friends
• Being truly honest with him in every conversation that we have with him
At this point, I’m reminded of another story – a dead man who goes to heaven sees the footprints that he left behind during his journey on earth. There are two sets of prints, and when he asks God about the second pair, he replies that they are his, that he walks beside us during every step we take. And then the man comes to parts of his life where there are only one set of prints, and he realizes that these were the worst days of his existence. He turns to God and asks him why he left him alone when he was really down; and God replies, “My son, I did not leave you when you had troubles. I carried you so your load was easier to bear. Those footprints you see are mine.”
Very often in life, we doubt God and question his very presence when we’re sad and depressed. And yet we fail to acknowledge his existence in our lives when things are going well and when something really good happens. It’s time we understood that bonding with God must be a lifelong affair, one that holds through thick and thin, through smiles and tears, and through sorrows and happiness. Only then can we say that we are truly one with God.
This post was contributed by Holly McCarthy, who writes on the subject of trade schools. She invites your feedback at hollymccarthy12 at gmail dot com