"You may have noticed that I sit on the front row at church, listen intently to the minister, and always sing loudly when there are songs to sing. I tithe 10% of the little that I get from you. I even take a break at lunch and find a quiet corner and say my prayers, imploring you to treat me and my family more generously."
He went on to say, "But I must admit that I am getting discouraged. Not much has changed. The dog still tries to bite me when I come home. My wife and children ignore me, and we seem to catch every sickness that goes around.
"So what I would like to know is - why is it that we live in a state of misery, while my neighbor, Bloom, who never prays or goes to church has such good luck? His wife and children adore him. His dog never bites him. He has a wonderful life. Everything he touches turns to gold.
"So what I want to know is - why is it that I pray and pray and pray and never get anything but pain and bad things, while Bloom, who totally ignores you, is always blessed in every way. Why is this, Lord? . . . Why? . . . Why?"
There was a moment of silence and then a voice boomed down from heaven that said, "BECAUSE HE ISN'T ALWAYS BUGGING ME! THAT' S WHY!"
I laugh every time I hear this short tale. I don't know about you, but I'm with Bloom.
God has already given each of us all we could possibly need to live a happy and prosperous life. If we lack, it is because, like Levi, we believe in lack. Bugging God to get what has already been given cuts off our supply. We always experience what we believe in our heart.
Realizing this should help us appreciate the abundance that is already stored up for us. It should keep us from feeling that we must beg for our good. We only have to truly believe that God is our support in all things. This doesn’t mean we don’t have to do the work, to move our feet. Our life is a journey of evolution of understanding. Consequently, we must experience some things that seem undesirable but offer us the opportunity to develop wisdom.
This life has purpose. It is not a free ride and just being “good” is not its purpose for us. We are called upon to reflect on what we believe and why we believe it, to search within ourselves to discover how we view ourselves and others, and to be willing to engage in critical thinking rather than lazily accepting what others insist is truth. As we do these things, we must be honest with ourselves and recognize attitudes that are being influenced by our egos and biases.
So, if you pray, pray for understanding, pray for the best outcome for yourself and others, pray for the strength to live up to your potential. Don’t allow yourself to feel that in praying, you are playing a game of chance. Everything is in Divine Order so what you need will be there when you need it if you believe. Your faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. In other words, it is your belief in the abundance that is already stored up for you. Consequently, there is no need to “bug God” for things because it is the quality of your belief that determines what you receive.