When I was a kid my mom and dad made me pray. Nothing heavy just the basics. Thanks to God for what I would come to understand as his protection and provision.
When I was older and had inherited some independence I didn’t pray as much. With time in inept lostness, I didn’t pray at all. I was pretty sure right about then that it was my world. In fact, I considered the world my baby and I was takin’ the candy.
When a person is that far from the reality of God’s world, especially already having been chosen and shown grace and mercy, a wake-up call is on the way.
Tough times certainly have their purpose. To my point, most everyone probably has heard the saying, “There are no atheists in foxholes.” In other words, almost everyone facing potential immediate death send up a Hail Mary prayer to God.
I wonder what our Creator who controls all things feels like at that moment?
I must have been around four or five years old when a rare visit to the lake, paired up with some good old fashioned disobedience to my mom, taught me a lesson that I’ve been relearning my whole life.
I had waded out into the water about waist deep. My mom warned, “Don’t go any deeper”! Knowing she wasn’t much of a swimmer herself. I had swimming trunks on, but she was full dressed. I thought to myself, “What’s she gonna do come in after me”? “Uh, I don’t think so”!
I was in complete control, so I kept creeping a little further out. My mom patiently calling, “Don’t go any deeper.”
For those of you familiar with lakes know about “shelves” or “drop-offs.” They sneak up on you. The soft sand gives way pretty easy. I remember watching my mom from just under the water with my tippy-toes keeping me about six inches under. Thinking “A little help here!”
I was flailing my arms like a drowning person does. I watched as she set her purse down, took her shoes off, readying herself to wade into the water she tried always to avoid.
I was trying to run up the sluffing shelf. My legs were moving at light speed, at least it felt like it. It was like in the old cartoons when the character is starting to run. Their legs are moving, but there not going anywhere. Then comes the sound of bongo drums to represent their furious first strides.
This was no cartoon, but I started to get traction just like one of my favorite cartoons characters as my mom finally reached me.
She should have yelled at me or something, but she didn’t. Instead after recovering I didn’t say “Thanks” or “I”m sorry.” I said, “If you knew I was drowning how come you had to take off your shoes and purse”? I continued, “You should have come and got me as soon as you saw me drowning”! She calmly replied, “I knew you weren’t going to drown.”
It seems we as humans treat God the same way. We willfully disobey, go our own way knowing He’s warned us not to go that way. When we get into trouble we send up the “Hail Mary” and expect Him to come running.
Worse yet we question why He would allow us to suffer, never stopping to consider the consequences of our disobedience. Yet like the ultimate parent He’s always there, ready to pull us out of our deserved fate.
No one has to make me pray anymore. Through good days or bad it is my gift from God to talk with him. Every morning I thank Him for his mercies that begin new each day. Every night before sleep, I thank Him for His protection and provision. His mercy and grace. I ask for guidance and strength.
I pray for my family, friends and ask Him to make mine and our paths straight and level before us. Even now, I still tend to go my own way.
When He pulls me up from my folly, I now say, “Thank you Father”…”Please forgive me.”