Sunday, July 13, 2014

Working out a Bargain with God

July 13, 2014

Dear Friends,

Suppose that God invited you to help with a Kingdom project.  Such an invitation would likely be greeted initially as good news and a great opportunity.

However, suppose you reviewed the project carefully and discovered that there would be considerable personal expense involved. Would this influence your decision to accept or reject God's offer?  

The Persian poet Hafiz wrote:

Frantic Screaming

We are going to make
all spiritual talk simple today: 
God is trying to sell you something,
but you don't want to buy.
And this is the source of your suffering:
All your constant haggling,
And your frantic screaming
Over the price.

Hafiz was pointing out in a none too gentle way that we humans spend enormous effort attempting to extract a bargain from God. Despite its edge, Hafiz’s poem reflects an uncomfortable picture of the aggressive self-interest we often display in our relationship with God.

A possible opportunity to work with God on a project came up in my life this week. I remembered Hafiz's poem, but a different question came into my mind.

What if the project God offers does entail high personal price? Is it not, none-the-less, an eternal bargain?

To me it seems that haggling with God is ridiculous, and ignorant. I am not saying that I have never done so, nor am I in this blog promising God a haggle-free tomorrow. What I am reporting (full disclosure) is my understanding that such behavior is both rude and an act of cosmic-level foolishness.

Suppose the project does carry an initial high cost of investment. Does God ever offer anything other than good to His children? And, seen in the context of that truth, does He ever offer anything to us  that is not a bargain?

See you next week.


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