Thanks, anyway…

Sarah, Chris and I went to a talk about Islam at the YW recently. It was as interesting for the questions people asked, which revealed a lot about themselves, as it was for the topic. The best part was actually Sarah’s analysis for Chris and me afterward. She is smart, insightful and funny, and she uses really big words to shred other people’s arguments to pieces. But that’s another story. What I have been thinking about a lot lately was the joke the speaker told, I think to illustrate how similar we Americans are, regardless of our religious denominations.

Here’s the joke:
A man was on his way to church/temple/mosque, and he was running late. All the way there, he worried about having to spend a lot of time searching for a place to park and needing to walk a long distance once he found one, making him even more late. So he prayed, “Lord, let there be a parking spot when I get there.”

He finally gets to the (insert appropriate location here), and there is a parking spot right outside the front door. As he pulls in, he says to God, “Thanks, anyway, but I found a place.”

Now, I don’t know if God will help us find good parking spots, but if we do believe in a personal God who loves us as a father loves his children, then it wouldn’t be unreasonable to think He might.  Although the mother in me thinks the kids should to learn to leave for church on time…and they probably should walk there….But I wonder how many times that I ask for God’s help, then dismiss it or fail to recognize it when it comes.  Huh.

If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask Him.  ~ Matthew 7:11

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6 Responses to “Thanks, anyway…”

  1. ccblittle Says:

    I like this. Let’s remember to notice when the help arrives. Even when it comes in a form we’re not expecting. Hey — what if we assumed that *everything* that comes is help arriving. What would that be like?

  2. Sarah Says:

    Haha this reminds me of tonight! I left the dorm thinking, “Okay, when have I ever needed to find anything this badly ST. ANTHONY?!? I wish this were your fault, God, so when they ask me where my script is at rehearsal, I could say, ‘I lent it to God and He lost it, the stinker!'” And when they let me out of rehearsal early, I just burst into, “Thank you LOOOORD for hearing every prayer!” Talk about an interesting way to get out of that predicament. It’s like God played a practical joke on me, just to get my attention 😀

  3. Sarah Says:

    Hmmm…that’s an interesting thought, Miss Chris. It’s certainly a way to see the good in life! We Jesuit educated call it finding God in all things 🙂 But while help may be in everything, I think that it’s important to distinguish that help/God isn’t EVERYthing. I’m thinking of the end of The Sparrow here. And while expecting and acknowledging help is a great way to live, we also have to work against those things in and outside of ourselves that keep us and others from accepting help and happiness.

  4. Sarah Says:

    I’m putting “expect help” on my list for tomorrow!

  5. Noreen Says:

    Yes, Chris, what would that be like?! And Sarah! That is a great list item!

    The Sparrow really sticks with you, no?

  6. The View from the Middle « Sufficiently Radical Says:

    […] think when things are going well, it’s easier to forget about God’s presence. In my dream, when I ask Jesus about the times when there are only one […]

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