We have a row of vending machines at our church. As the students prepare for youth group on a Wednesday night, the students visit the candy store in the junior high room or the vending machines.
That particular Wednesday night, I watched a seventh grade student walk towards the machines. He stopped, pulled his change out of his pocket and flung some lint onto the floor. He calculated his handful of change and counted it twice.
He perused the drink selection and zeroed in on his soft drink of choice. He started putting his money in the coin slot until the sum totaled $1.25. He pushed the drink selection and I’m sure his taste buds started salivating. The refreshment and caffeine rush were just seconds away. Well, according to his plan at least.
He put his hand in the bottom opening and waited for his purchase to be released.
Then, he threw a fit as a lot of us do when we don’t get what we want. He punched the machine. After all, he deserved the result that he was being denied. Didn’t he?
He looked around to see if anyone was watching, so I hid a little bit more to see what happened next.
He backed up like a bull getting ready to attack. He charged, full steam ahead into the pop machine, leaping off his feet right before he got there.
Nothing. He didn’t get anything. (Except a good laugh out of me).
He hurried to the closest adult, to complain about how he did everything right, but wasn’t given what he was owed. And he deserved it!
My laughter stopped, when I realized that this encounter is all to like my prayer life sometimes. I know what I want, I approach His throne with MY agenda, and throw a good child-like tantrum if I don’t get it.
What was a silly spectacle to observe, turned into an ugly look in the mirror.
If I just spend this amount of time in Scripture, then I’ll get what I want.
If I pray for ten minutes more than I do, THEN my prayer will be answered.
If I cross everything off my spiritual to do list, THEN…
Why do we minimize God’s power to a divine vending machine?
If we do, we minimize His authority, strip the power from the cross, eliminate his omniscience, and tell the Creator of the universe how to do things better. His perfect personal qualities, that make Him the relational and loving Father that He is, are replaced by a robotic Santa Claus who provides what is on my list. After all, I have been a good girl and met the requirements on my spiritual checklist.
What if we adjusted our paradigm and shifted our focus to God being a relational, loving and welcoming God, instead of a pawn?
Imagine the safety, security and acceptance you felt climbing up on your daddy’s lap when you were younger? No words need to be spoken. No time limit necessary. Just you and your father.
Breathe it in.
Imagine yourself there.
That’s the God we have. Not a robot. He’s ready. Accessible. Welcoming. Accepting. No words need to be spoken. No time limit necessary. Just you and your Father.
Breathe it in.
Imagine yourself there.
He says, “Be still and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10
He’s ready for you, regardless of your circumstance. He longs to be in relationship with you. He wants to carry your burdens for you. He’s ready and waiting to pull you up on his lap, and let you be still. Snuggle into your Abba’s chest and rest in His presence.
By Cathie Quillet, Walking In His PlanLeave a Comment
Charina @ Pondered Thoughts says
This is beautiful Cathie. I needed this assurance today 🙂 Thank you!
Beautiful my friend. I love how God transforms ashes into beauty and uses that beauty to inspire others. You are a blessing!
Beautifully written and perfect picture to make us take a look at ourselves!
Lovely analogy. There is nothing wrong with the asking, but it is our response to the wait that needs a little tweaking….Having more faith in his answers and time frame.
Thank you for this clear picture! I found myself thanking Jesus and resting in him
Beth Williams says
He hurried to the closest adult, to complain about how he did everything right, but wasn’t given what he was owed. And he deserved it! That sounds just like me sometimes. I complain about how things (mostly work) didn’t go the way I wanted them today–poor poor me! I have often found myself getting really upset & when looking back on it–how silly & stupid to complain again God & His wisdom!!
Loved the post!
Wow, sooo needed this today. Thank you!
Boy oh boy, what a funny picture that is of that boy & the soda though – oh how frustrating that can be when we don’t get the pop we selected! LOL. Good analogy for the rest of life too, for reals.
What a great analogy & a look in the mirror for all of us.
Carole McDuffee says
I love how you took the time to observe this boy during the escapade with the vending machine. So often we miss the little life lessons that are all around us, if we would just take the time to STOP, LOOK, & LISTEN! What a great analogy of our relationship with the Father!!
Ouch! Yep, that’s been me lately. The fruits of the Spirit that I’ve been praying for for a loooooong time seem to be even less evident in my life than when I started praying for them! And I’ve been telling God off… because why wouldn’t He want me to be more like Him? I’ve been asking, so if I’m not developing His character in my life, it must be His fault, right?!
Sigh… you’re right. I need to back off, get rid of the attitude, and have a little more patience – oops, there’s one of those fruits again!
I’m glad that He loves me, regardless!