Can I Have…?

Lately, my kids have been a choir of desire, constantly listing all their wants and demands before me. It’s true they need my permission and my help to get the things they want, but the majority of their words expose their single-minded focus on themselves. All day long, all I hear is:

“Can I have…?”

“Give me…”

“I really want (insert everything in the entire world here).”

They look to me, expecting me to fulfill all their wishes as though I were a magic genie instead of their mother.

To be honest, I have no idea where they got that idea. My inclination towards selfish behavior is to take things away, not lavish them with more stuff. And defintely not stuff they want.

But still, they look to me, knowing that I love them and want to give them good things.

The other day, my kids swarmed me as I was fighting the stove and making some final touches on dinner.

“Can I have the green plate?” one daughter shouted.

My other daughter ransacked the utensil drawer. “I want the Doc fork!”

like Doc fork!” my two-year-old wailed.

I spun on my heels (which is hard to do when you’re both hugely pregnant and swarmed on all sides by tiny people). Then I shut the drawer, letting the dinner hiss and crackle in the pan behind me.

“Whoa, whoa, whoa,” I shouted above the noise. “Do you think having a specific plate or fork will make you any happier in life?”

They shook their heads, but still clung tightly to their treasures.

“Instead of asking for what more you can get, why don’t you take a look at everything I’m giving you and ask how you can give it to others?” I said. “Instead of asking for what more you can have, why don’t you ask how you can help?”

They obeyed (shockingly enough).

My oldest poured milk for everyone and distributed the cups. My middle set the table, putting plates in their places and divvying up the utensils, going so far as to willingly give the beloved Doc McStuffins fork to her little brother.

And the result?

Joy. Trust. Unity. Love.

Heaven. It was a glimpse of heaven.

Selfishness, then, is the assassin of those things.

Under a false promise of joy, selfishness only produces dissatisfaction and isolation. Nothing else.

But isn’t that how I pray?

I am a one-woman choir of desire, constantly listing all my wants and demands before my Father. It’s true I need His permission and help to get the things I want, but the majority of my words expose my single-minded focus on myself. All day long, all He hears is:

“Can I have…?”

“Give me…”

“I really want (insert everything in the entire world here).”

Every day, I put all my plans, all my desires, all my wants before God. Which is fine and good. He wants us to tell Him what’s on our hearts. But how often do my conversations with God stop there? How often do I overlook everything He’s given me so far?

I look to Him, asking for more and expecting Him to fulfill all my wishes as though He were a magic genie instead of my Father.

To be honest, I have no idea where I got that idea. His inclination towards my prideful, selfish behavior is to humble me. And when I ask for patience or humility, He doesn’t just zap those virtues into my heart. He gives me trying experiences that require me to utilize them.

But still, I look to Him, knowing that He loves me and wants to give me good things.

“Whoa, whoa, whoa,” whispers the Voice of Truth. “Do you really think having that prayer request will make you any happier?”

I shake my head, but still hold fast to the hope that He’ll deliver it.

“Instead of asking for what more you can get, why don’t you take a look at everything I’ve already given you and ask how you can give it to others? Instead of asking what you can have, why don’t you ask how you can help?”

I obeyed (shockingly enough) and saw the truth of my situation.

My time. My talents. My treasures. My life.

What have I done to create or provide any of them? I am not the giver of those things, but the recipient.

They were all gifts, given to me by my Father who likes to give me good things.

And even though I want to cling to them—especially my sacred, sacred me time—I’m learning how to give it to others.

And the result?

Joy. Trust. Unity. Love.

Heaven. It is a glimpse of heaven.

One Comment on “Can I Have…?

What Do You Think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: