Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Why Bother God?

This is perhaps my favorite piece because it reminds me just how much God cares about his kids. I wrote it as an editor's note for the June/July 2003 issue of Campus Life magazine (thus the teen-oriented language). Hope you enjoy it. -H

Some people might tell you not to pray about ordinary stuff. After all, they say, there's famine, murder and war all over the world. Why bother God with little things like school exams and first dates? Or pajamas?

A pair of pajamas usually wouldn't mean anything to me. But recently, it felt like the most important thing in the world.

My sister's birthday was coming up. She's in college now, thousands of miles away from me, so this year's gift had to be special.

After weeks of browsing, I found the perfect gift: sky-blue pajamas, complete with an embroidered moon on the t-shirt top. These PJs would be much cooler than the old, high-school gym sweats she liked to sleep in.

Sorting through the packs of pajamas, I found one in the right size. Only one. Problem was, the package had already been opened. The packing material was missing and the pajamas were badly wrinkled.

My heart sank. I couldn't give her an imperfect gift.

It seemed silly to feel such sadness over a pair of pajamas, but I knew my feelings were about more than a mere gift. I really missed my sister. So I wanted to give her something she could use every day—a daily "hug" from me.

And I had nothing.

As I made my way down the aisle toward the store's exit, something caught my eye. There, sandwiched between some packages of white socks, was something in a shiny plastic bag. As I drew closer, I could see the contents were blue. I picked the bag up.

Tears filled my eyes. In my hands, I held an unopened package of blue pajamas, in the right size. Without a second thought, I thanked God. Again and again and again.

Are there bigger things in the world than taking tests, going on a date, or finding the perfect gift for a loved one? Of course. But the gravity of other issues doesn't change how certain "little" things can feel huge. God cares about everything in our lives—he even knows the number of hairs on our heads (Luke 12:6-8).

I believe God knew my need to feel connected to my sister. And that pair of pajamas?

Just ordinary? Yes. Important to God? Very.
Campus Life, June/July 2003

To ponder:
1) What "small" things do you pass over when you're praying? Why do you think you don't pray about these things?

2) Consider your relationship with someone close: a friend, family member, spouse or significant other. What little details do you share with them? Think about this the next time you're praying.

3) If you find it difficult to talk about your worries, try to observe someone else doing this. The next time someone shares with you, listen carefully to the things they're saying. Observe how, just by sharing this with you, they feel comforted. Then when you pray, tell God you'd like to be more open to talking openly with him, and that you want to feel his comfort.

8 Steps to a Better Friendship with God

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