I was annoyed the other day… a couple of weeks ago actually, but this has been bumping around in my brain… over someone carelessly saying “God will provide”. I know. I shouldn’t judge, I know I shouldn’t read into it. Most people say it without really thinking about what it means. Only a few use and abuse this concept… meaning they chuck out all sense of personal responsibility and blindly forge ahead, even if they are scared enough about potential risks to start the praying before they take the first step. I shouldn’t even be annoyed with that type.. even when I think people are doing really stupid things. Oh yea… you waste all your money on things you know you shouldn’t today… even good things, like charity… but when asked why you can’t pay your mortgage next month… just shrugging your shoulders and saying “God will provide”, is going to make it “Ok”? I don’t think so… I mean really, some people are a work in progress (aren’t we all?) and need to learn, but it is frustrating to see! I was reminded of this little parable, I have always liked this:
A devout man was in his home, listening to the storm outside. He heard a rapid knocking on the door. It was the sheriff… in his bright yellow rain slicker and rubber boots. “Sir, you need to evacuate immediately! The dam is failing and you are in danger. Please, move to higher ground.” The man said, “No, I’m staying here, God will provide.” An hour later, the power is out, and water is thigh deep in his house. He hears a noise outside and goes to investigate. It’s the National Guard in a rescue boat. “Thank goodness we found you sir! Quick, get in the boat and let’s go. The waters are still rising!” The man said, “No, I’m staying here, God will provide.” Another hour passes, the man is on his rooftop, rushing water licking about his shoes. He hears a noise in the sky and looks up as a Marine Corps helicopter zips in and drops a ladder. “Come on sir! Let’s get you out of here! The rains are not letting up and you are in danger!” The man said, “No, I’m staying here, God will provide.” Needless to say, shortly after this, his house collapsed beneath him, and he was drowned. As he arrived in heaven, wet and confused, he had his chance to speak with God. He said, “But I believed in You! I have trusted in You my whole life! Why did You not protect me when I needed you most?!” God shook His head sadly and said, I sent you the Sheriff in a warm SUV to give you a ride to safety, I sent the National Guard in a sturdy boat, I sent the United States Marine Corps in a state of the art flying machine… and each time, you turned your back on My gifts.”
I guess, what annoys me the most, is that some people think it is OK to toss out all sense of personal responsibility and use God as some sort of personal insurance policy. A person will take things too far, barely squeak by, assume it was a gift of God, and then, rather than learn from it, he’ll go out to take things too far again.. because “God will provide'”. Is it really Ok for me to do whatever I want, without worrying about responsibility or long-term consequences, as long as I say “God will provide” (or “forgive me”, or “love me anyway”, or whatever)? These thoughts came to me at the same time a friend and I were talking about bad parenting, and spoiled kids/adults who feel they are entitled to have, or do, or get away with, whatever they want. Bad enough, when kids act this way with their parents, or people act that way to their fellows in society. I hate it even more, when I see it used with God. God DOES provide.. He gave us each a brain, some common sense, and so many other gifts… that’s some damn fine providing if you ask me!
ok.. had to get that off my chest. I feel better now ;D