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Requests

I get asked for about a million things every day. The quantity of requests that come from my children is staggering, and are mostly food-related. As a result, the number of times I say, "No" each day startles me. Sometimes I just get tired of saying no, actually! But I can't give them snacks every time they ask, and I can't let them watch TV all day long. So what am I to do?

The whole thing presents a sort of rest-fatigue that I'm not sure how to handle. It reached a new level tonight, as I was heading home after a great skate session. I was getting gas and a homeless man was asking other gas-getters for some money. Of course this can be an awkward situation for even the most generous. I give sometimes, and try to ask God for when it is appropriate, or when something else may be needed -- a listening ear perhaps, or at least a polite acknowledgement. (Those sound like weak arguments as I write them -- maybe I'm just avoiding awkward situations -- but let's not get into that part of it now.) As he traversed the gas station, I turned my back to him, hoping he wouldn't wander my way. It's not that I don't mind encountering the homeless, but that night I really just didn't feel like being asked for something!

It could have been simply a building tension inside me...just the day before we had a political canvasser, and a salesman come to our door -- in the same evening! As I mentioned, with my daily questions from the kids, and now one more at the gas station...it was starting to feel like national ask-people-to-give-you-stuff weekend!



But as I stood there, stewing and avoiding eye contact (It wasn't as rude as I'm painting it. He was several cars away.), I just felt bad. (I even feel bad writing this blog!) I kept asking myself, Would Jesus have this same attitude? Of course not! "Yeah, but you're not Jesus, Rick." But I claim to follow him, so why was I being such a curmudgeon?!

In the end, the guy never made it my way and I left unscathed. But I drove away grumpy and irritated. I thought, I'm just so tired of being asked for stuff, but is that even a right thing to desire? And with the kids...I think about how children often see God based on how their fathers treated them. Am I setting them up to think of God as stingy, unwilling to grant what they ask for, and eventually, unapproachable? What is that going to do for their faith?

Again I come to the end of a blog post with no resolution or takeaway for you or myself. I feel kind of selfish, and will, at the least, continue to pay attention to my actions. Maybe I'll have some realization or stumble upon a relatable truth; or maybe this blog will be just a widespread confessional. Either way, thanks for reading.

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