"He loves me..." I'd pick off a petal, "He loves me not..." and I'd pick off another petal. Dependant on whether I liked the boy in question, determined what I would do when I was down to the last few pedals. Knowing I had to land on "He LOVES me", I'd accidentally (on purpose) make sure I doubled up on pedals as necessary to make sure that the last petal worked out to my favour.
Now admit it, Girls...you did that too! Yeah, it's cheating, but sometimes you just had to make sure that "fate" was in your control, not the other way around.
Fate...it's an ugly word for Christians. We never leave things to fate, we leave it up to God...or do we? Occasionally...okay, I'll fess up...repeatedly...I try to manipulate God to see things my way. If I use the flower petal analogy, I make sure the last petal I pick off benefits me, rather than the other way around. My prayers seem to be geared towards me and my wishes rather than discovering what God's will is for me. I suppose I do that out of fear. I'm just not sure He totally understands what I'm going through at any given time. I figure giving Him a little nudge in the right...I mean, MY direction, so He understands the circumstances better is totally okay.
Are you cringing yet? I want my prayers answered MY WAY. I want God to give me what I WANT. I want God to be quick about it too! I want, I WANT... How arrogant. No wonder God is slow to answer my misguided prayers, and silent when I need to hear His voice. When will I ever learn?
I attended a Women's Worship recently at my church. "Offer Up!" was a chance to join with other women to offer up our worship whole-heartedly to our Father. I knew the moment I entered the sanctuary that my heart was not right with God. I was too busy comparing myself to the other women first. Then I had difficulty with the fact that there were a few visitors from other churches who obviously worshipped in a manner I found strange. My conservative Baptist sensibilities like "spidey senses" were "tingling". I was distracted by the other ladies, even a little judgmental I'll admit. I almost thought about leaving, thinking to myself that my church was becoming far too charismatic for my liking!
Then a still soft voice whispered, "Stay." I don't know when it happened exactly, but as we lifted our voices to Worship, I knew I HAD to be there. Soon I forgot there were other women around me and all my attention was fixed exactly where it should have been all along...on Jesus. Soon I found myself on my feet, arms outstretched, eyes closed, singing my heart out to God and my heart broke wide open. I gazed at the Cross and discovered once again that HE LOVES ME !
"I will praise you, O Lord, with all my heart; before the "gods" I will sing your praise. I will bow down toward your holy temple and will praise your name for your love and your faithfulness, for you have exalted above all things your name and your word. When I called, you answered me; you made me bold and stout hearted. May all the kings of the earth praise you, O Lord, when they hear the words of your mouth. May they sing of the ways of the Lord, for the glory of the Lord is great. Though the Lord is on high, he looks upon the lowly, but the proud he knows from afar. Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you preserve my life; you stretch out your hand against the anger of my foes, with your right hand you save me. The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me; your love, O Lord, endures forever - do not abandon the works of your hands." Psalm 138