Tag Archives: God

Not a Guideposts Kind of Girl

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Guideposts was the earliest memory I have of a magazine. Even as a tiny tot I “read” it. Maybe I picked it up because it was small and fit my little hands. Maybe I read it because the stories were short and held my attention. Maybe it was the only reading material to be found in the bathroom. There were other magazines in my home, I know. But my earliest memory was Guideposts.

When I became an adult and left home, that was the end of Guideposts for me. I never subscribed to it. I guess I knew it still existed because I would see it left on nightstands at the homes of my parents and my in-laws. But I’m pretty sure over the course of several decades I never picked up an issue and perused it. This past Christmas I received a subscription as a gift from my mother-in-law. And lo and behold, not a thing about the magazine has changed. It’s still small and the stories are still brief. The content is the same – uplifting stories about ordinary people experiencing the divine.

In a recent issue I noticed that Guideposts sponsors a writing contest. The only requirement to enter is a first person account of a life changing experience, written in under 2000 words, and how the writer’s faith has been deepened. The winner of the contest goes to an in-depth writer’s workshop held somewhere in New York in the fall.

My immediate thought was, “Hey, this is for me! I’d love to attend an intense workshop and receive bona fide instruction!” So, entering the contest has been my plan … until today … when I sat down to write. I realize I have had no life altering experience to tell about. I’ve had no angelic visitation. I’ve had no brush with the hereafter. I’ve had no experience where my faith has been tested. My faith has just always been there, constant as the tide, not many rapturous mountaintops and not many desolate valleys. And even though that’s not a bad thing, I don’t think that’s the kind of story Guideposts is looking for.

So I won’t be entering the contest. I’m just not a Guideposts kind of girl. And that’s not a bad thing, either.

 

I Don’t Want to Bother God

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I don’t want to bother God. I figure He has enough on his plate.

I generally ask God to be on the lookout for the safety and happiness of my sons, the joy and contentment of my husband and calm and peace for my aging parents. But rarely do I bother God about me, the possibility of personal growth and what I might want. I’m content just knowing the people closest to me are happy and well.

As for the rest of the world and its inhabitants, boy, does God have a lot to keep him busy. Why should I be one more voice adding to the pandemonium? The nuts in the Middle East alone would be enough for Him to tear his hair out. Of course, He was responsible for starting that whole ball of wax to begin with. I wonder if He ever imagined that those two brats born to Abraham would spin off countries that continue to despise each other 4000 years later.

And then there are victims of famine and poverty through no fault of their own other than having been born. And victims of malicious governments. And victims of natural disaster. And victims of disease and addiction. And victims of their own undoing. Not to mention people out there who are just truly evil.

With all the pain and suffering in the world I just hate to bother God about me. It seems selfish. After all, I’m doing just fine. I thank Him ceaselessly for family and job security and a thousand other things, but I don’t feel right asking for anything – any thing or any situation that I think might make me happier. I’m pretty happy.

But it occurred to me that God might want me to ask him for stuff. Lord knows (ha!) I don’t want anymore stuff. But I guess I mean stuff in the figurative sense. I have some gifts that probably need to be cultivated a little more. God given gifts. So if God has gifted me these gifts and I’m not totally sure on how to use these gifts, maybe I should bother God and ask him.

This notion I have of not bothering God, maybe, is not rational thinking. Or maybe it’s too much thinking. This God who created the universe and the world and all its creatures has single-handedly handled time as we know it, and infinity before that. Maybe he can handle me and it wouldn’t be an imposition.

Maybe it’s wrong not to bother God. He’s put us where we are for a limited length of time, for some reason. The first question in the children’s catechism within the protestant denomination is, “What is the chief end of man?” The answer that’s been stamped onto little brains can be regurgitated back with a roll of the eyes and in one long breath, “The chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy him forever.”

So, am I glorifying God by not bothering him?  Am I glorifying God by not asking him to help me out with those gifts he gave me? Do I really feel he has enough on his plate?

I guess I have underestimated God. I doubt he is enjoying that.