I was doing dishes the other day and my daughter Waverly, who is pretty attached to me most of the time (I call her my shadow), was hovering behind. We were having a discussion with Ellie, our oldest daughter, about how sometimes one daughter will get one thing and one get something different, but sometimes the split ends up not being fair. (The situation in question was that I gave Waverly a cookie because she was with me, while Ellie was on the phone with a friend. Since she was beside me, and I wanted a cookie, she got one too.) I tell them all the time that life isn't fair, but that that statement is a double-sided coin: sometimes it's not fair in that you get the benefit over someone else, as is often the case with living in America. Anyway, that's another blog post...

In a sweet moment, Waverly, relishing in her gain, said, "Daddy, can we go on a special trip together, just you and me?" 

My heart warmed, I replied, "Sure. Where do you want to go?" 

"Can we go to Old McDonald's and get a treat?"

Ahh... I thought, She doesn't want time with me, she just wants a treat.  So I asked her, "Do you want me or just something from me?" I don't remember what she said, because it became blatantly obvious to me that this give and take (though more take than give) is exactly how we treat God.

I want you to show love, not offer sacrifices. I want you to know me more than I want burnt offerings. (Hosea 6:6)

I've heard it said a couple dozen times, and have been convicted probably every time. Do I want blessing from God, or God Himself? Do I want Him to take care of me, provide, give me good things and a happy life? Or even if my life totally sucks, but I get to have a relationship with God my Father, would I still be happy? Moreso, would I trade a prosperous life without God, for a destitute life with Him?

Just a glimpse into our robust treat shelf.

I take comfort today knowing that Waverly really does love me, and most of the time she just wants me to spend time with her. I hope that I can say the same thing about my relationship with my Heavenly Father, though often I'm not so sure. I really enjoy all the good things I have in this life, and attribute them to God. He has blessed us beyond measure, and the older I get and more I learn about the condition that most of the world lives in, I realize how ridiculously blessed I am just to have been born where I was, and continue living where I do now. 

But if all these good things, though noticed, take the place of knowing God, then I have missed the point in a major way.

Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’ (Matthew 7:21-23)