God’s favors

“God works in mysterious, inefficient, and breathtakingly cruel ways.” – Penn Jillette 

I ran into a lady Saturday night at a party that I had heard had just changed jobs after working for the same company for almost 20 years. She was basically doing the same thing she had done before with just a different organization. Prying a little bit, I asked her why she decided to make a change this late in the game with retirement just a few years down the road. I expected her to say things like more money, more responsibility, a better working environment, etc. all the reasons you would suspect from someone basically making a lateral move. But she had a different reason, a more divine reason.

Now I have mentioned on more than one occasion that I live in a very conservative area, not Judge Roy Moore, Alabama, Westboro Baptist Church conservative, but for my taste still to far right. I hear on a daily basis about all the wonderful work God is doing in the lives of individuals that surround me. Great jobs, big houses, new cars, exotic vacations, yes God has blessed us. Health, wealth, kids got in to the right school, yes God has blessed us. And why did this lady change jobs after 20 years? She felt, no she believed, it was a change God wanted or maybe commanded her to make. Her logic was this, if God hadn’t wanted her to consider it why would He put the opportunity in front of her? Yes, she really said that.

I have learned over the years that there is no reason to debate with someone who makes a statement like this besides, we were at a party and there was nothing to gain by challenging her view. She, like many in our social circle, already think I am a liberal heathen and I didn’t need to provide her with more ammunition to justify that characterization of me. Also, I wanted to sleep in my own bed that night and if I pissed off “another person” with what I describe as my “good-natured curiosity” my wife would not have been very happy with me.

As I always say if your faith makes you kinder, more caring, less judgmental, and respectful of everything and everyone then go in peace. But in the back of mind I always wonder why God chooses to grace and bless a select few with material riches when so many others, people whose faith in the Almighty is just as strong and steadfast have their needs and wants go unfulfilled? The answer to this question is like the answer to so many answers about the Christian faith, there isn’t one.

At the Mission Church that I attend the pews are filled with the haves and have-nots. The haves have a home, a job, a car, food, clean clothes and health insurance. Most, like me, would believe that they Have not because God waved his magic wand over our heads but because of luck and circumstance, rights rather than some divine choosing. We are the right color, right sex, had the right parents, grew-up in the right neighborhood, went to the right school, married the right person, we were simply in the right place and the right time. These “rights” are what separate us, these “rights” have created the haves and the have-nots since the beginning of time. Our lot in life has nothing to do with our belief in God, or where we stand in God’s pecking order of how She distributes Her gifts and blessings. It’s a roll of the dice.

So why do any of us even need God? Honestly isn’t that the ultimate question? My belief in a “God” isn’t about being showered with gifts and blessings. It isn’t about getting the perfect job, a big house or a shiny new Lexus. It is about helping, loving, sharing and caring for others because that is what He demands of us, that is what He calls us to do. It is about creating the Kingdom here on Earth for those that weren’t or aren’t fortunate enough to have the “rights” that I was lucky enough to come by. “For the poor will never cease to be in the land; therefore I command you, saying, ‘You shall freely open your hand to your brother, to your needy and poor in your land.'”

If you want to attribute your expensive lake house and $30,000 boat to God’s blessing that’s fine, just don’t tell me about it. Go tell the homeless guy sleeping under the bridge with all of his worldly possessions stored in two grocery bags. See if he will buy the fairy tale you are selling. But you won’t, you will write your check to the Salvation Army or the Rescue Mission and pat yourself on the back. Want to see God? Want to see Jesus? Go preach your gospel to the homeless man, tell him how God choose you and He will choose you too if you just believe. Look him in the eye and tell him your story, he will introduce you God if you are truly interested in finding Him.

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About ends and beginnings blog

I am a frustrated writer and poet waiting to be discovered. A stand-up philosopher performing on a street corner near you. A Christian with questions but I don’t want to hear your answers. A Buddhist with a bumper sticker on my truck to prove it. A collector of quotes. A grower of lettuce. The Patron Saint of earthworms who name their children after me. A cyclist whose big ass strains the seams of his Lycra bibs. I am American by birth, Southern by the grace of God. My goal in life is to leave an imprint on the lives of the people I love not a footprint on the earth. I am a son, a husband, a father composed of 65%-Oxygen, 18%-Carbon, 10%-Hydrogen, 3%-Nitrogen, 3%-Diet Coke and 1%-Oreo.
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14 Responses to God’s favors

  1. Stunning. Absolutely a fine piece of writing which I also believe to be the truth behind our reason for existence…..”if your faith makes you kinder, more caring, less judgmental, and respectful of everything and everyone then go in peace.”…..words to live by. Thanks, brother.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. bexybexybexy says:

    Oh beloved heathen of the liberal kind, that is a lot of label to live up to and I do hate the restrictions of labels. I do like however, your sentence: ‘If your faith makes you kinder, more caring, less judgemental, and respectful of everything and everyone then go in peace’. My advice is to be patient with those who have been “blessed” with financial gain, because there is nothing so sad in this life as to be so poor that all you have is money.

    Liked by 5 people

    • “nothing so sad in this life as to be so poor that all you have is money.” – love it! Thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

      • bexybexybexy says:

        Compassion dictates that we need to be especially careful, around those wrapped up in the cotton wool of financial prosperity. When on the street, I noticed there were some that would share their last penny with such pleasure at having the ability. There were others that couldn’t bear to share, I think perhaps due to the fears of an imagined future (maybe some of those that have lots of money also fear an imagined future).

        Liked by 2 people

  3. One of your best. Too many of these “blessed” people couldn’t give a rat’s behind about their needy neighbors.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. William Tell says:

    I had all the “rights,” too, and now have been homeless myself for almost seven years. The religion you ascribe to the rich isn’t that much different from the religion I find among the poor. I examine that in some detail here: https://williamatell.wordpress.com/2016/09/29/chaos-overwhelms-the-poor/

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Scottie says:

    Hello friend. You and I agree on this.

    As I always say if your faith makes you kinder, more caring, less judgmental, and respectful of everything and everyone then go in peace./blockquote>
    As for this part:

    It is about helping, loving, sharing and caring for others because that is what He demands of us, that is what he calls us to do. It is about creating the Kingdom here on Earth for those that weren’t or aren’t fortunate enough to have the “rights” that I was lucky enough to come by,

    Most humanist and secular atheist believe in acting this way and doing these actions to help others. We just don’t believe a god tells us to, we must do it because it is right for the species, for the one we help may be us needing help one day. Those who help others do it because they feel it is the right way to live, regardless if they say they get that feeling from a deity, or from simply having empathy and being part of the larger whole. I have heard it expressed as treat others the way you would have them treat you. We all can do this if we wish to.

    I wish you the best this holiday season. for you , your family, and for those you come in contact with. Hugs

    Liked by 2 people

  6. JJS says:

    I missed all those scriptures where Jesus applauds the Ferengi Rules of Acqusition…

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Patty says:

    Marvelous post again, dear Mr. Legend.
    XxX

    Like

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