It was one of the earliest lessons learned as a child; God doesn’t make deals. Satan does. Back then, it didn’t make much sense. In the literal sense, I suppose that’s true; God doesn’t make deals in the traditional sense. But He will always listen to what you have to say, and He will always meet you halfway.
In my experience, it works pretty much the same way as any other bargain you might strike; you offer something and get something in return. Dealing with God isn’t much different, except the stakes are much higher; God doesn’t demand anything from us, He loves us too much for that. No, that’s the beauty of faith; you don’t really have to do anything but believe.
No, the demands come from His former right hand; the one who’ll give you your supposed heart’s desire for something you may find trivial…and in the end, the price you pay is eternal.
So what is it you could possibly offer God to make Him give you the time of day? What is it you’re asking of Him? Because nothing comes free, and if you want God to give you the time of day, I mean if you really want Him to do something for you, then you have to be willing to give something back.
In my experience, the price paid is mind-numbingly hard work. It often pushes you to your breaking point. You have so many moments where you don’t think you can do it, where you think He’s a tyrant, where you say screw it, I don’t want it this badly, I’m out.
The beauty of it is that if you decide you’ve had enough, then cool, quit. Nothing bad will happen to you for it. Your life will continue on as normal. In fact, therein lies the irony; your life will go back to the same misery you were trying to escape before you made the deal in the first place. God demands nothing; he promises you something if you give something of yourself in return. It’s a simple premise; do nothing, nothing will happen.
For those of us who choose to see it through, the rewards are epic beyond belief; not only do we get what we asked for, in a manner far beyond anything we imagined, but we emerge better people on the other side of the work we put into the effort.
Patience is a big part of it; we may ask for God’s help at any point, but it’s only when we stop worrying about it that He answers. I think that our continuing to worry about it signifies that we haven’t given the problem wholly over to God yet, and why should He give us the time of day when we haven’t shown that we trust Him? Stop worrying about it. Give it over to Him. Let Him work.
Example 1). I wanted off the street. I gave up fighting, running the street, went to the library every day, devoted myself to finding a job—anything that came along. One month later, I had a rinkydink telemarketing job and a shoebox apartment in Bay City, Michigan. I missed the parties, the fast money, and the thrill of looking into someone’s eyes the moment he knew I was about to beat him. It was worth it.
Example 2). In a recession, I was able to sustain myself through writing—sometimes for up to fifteen hours a day—plus help from people I cared about until I found the job I maintain today. Thanks for the five months in between jobs, I was discovered as a writer, and well, you know the rest.
Example 3). To keep up with the demand of my job, I had to learn how to sell TV. I went way outside of my comfort zone and sell between four and five a month (which is epic, for me).
And, of course, the latest example.
I confess; I don’t want to just compete in next year’s Show Me Games. I want to win them.
Beyond that, I’d like to face down the last of my fears. I want to stop trying to succeed and actually do it. I want to stop talking about losing weight and actually do it. I want to actually finish two books on time. I want to stop wishing and talking and actually start doing something.
I want to conquer my fears of success and being happy. So, of course, I asked God for help. Tell me what You want, and I’ll do it.
Today, He answered.
You give Me everything you have, and I’ll make 2011 the year of your life.
My schedule today was extended during the week, at my request, so I could leave early on Fridays. This means I get a 2 ½ day weekend, but eliminates any possibility for me training, or writing at night.
But there’s the mornings…and I realized what He was asking of me.
Up at four in the morning. Hit the Y for an hour. Come back. Take care of the dogs. Write. Go to work. Repeat four days a week.
That’s asking a lot. Of course, I could always do nothing, right?
But I trust Him.
So here goes.
God bless, and thanks for reading.
(c) Avery K. Tingle for Akting Out LLC
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