Saturday, February 03, 2007

Prayed Any Whiney Prayers Lately?

All my life I've asked God for more patience with Whiners.

I began something new with Naomi when she three-years-old. If she came to me in the kitchen whining for a sandwich or a treat, I'd tell her, "Oh, I'm sorry, Honey. You whined when you asked that so you'll need to try again in five minutes." (Which would receive varied reactions, depending upon the day, her mood or frame of mind.)

I also said the same words if she whined for cereal or snacks at the supermarket or if she came whining to me at home because a friend was being unfair or if she'd become frustrated trying to force a toy or one of her inventions to work. Always I'd quip, come back in five minutes and try again with your calm voice.

Of course, some of you probably think that was terrible of me. I know how we as parents can become critical of one another's parenting choices (I've been around that block a few times).

But you know? It worked. And within a relatively short time, too. Naomi became nearly whine-free by age 5, with a few relapses, of course (being human and everything... especially when she spent time with two certain friends who she only saw once a year, friends who somehow pressed all her whine buttons. But don't we all have people like that in our lives?)

But I digress.

Naomi became so adept at sweetly and calmly asking for things--I had to watch myself that I didn't allow her to talk me into everything little thing she wanted. She was that good at it. A real dynamic little saleswoman by age 8.

But anyway, this morning I was wondering if maybe God doesn't use that 'come back again when you're through whining' approach. Maybe when we come to Him whining about how Life isn't fair.... or how prayer doesn't appear to work in our case.... or complaining about the friend who said something behind our back... or how we just cannot last another day unless certain circumstances change this very minute...

...well, maybe God says something like, "How about if you try asking me again in a few minutes... when you can ask in faith... when you can believe I know what's best for you... when you're ready to hear where you are messing up again and again, rather than blaming every single person in your life?

... How about if you come back in a few minutes, actually believing I'll answer your prayers... and asking, yearning for the most important thing--to know Me better?"

Come to think of it, this is all sounding very familiar to me.

Hebrews 11:6
And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.

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