Wednesday, March 26, 2008
Pollyanna vs Woody Allen
Have you ever prayed a bad prayer? I have. A few years ago I was asked to lead a task that I felt very unfit for. I remember praying "God, I will do it if you promise me that I won't fail". Even before the prayer was fully formed in my mind, I felt the uneasiness of knowing I'd just made a mistake, but not yet quite sure what it was. I picked up a bible sitting next to me and opened it to a random page; I put my finger down on this verse "You speak as the foolish woman speaks. Do you accept goodness from God and not adversity?"
It's awfuly convenient to say that one doesn't have any interest in God because he allows us to suffer. I've heard that so often, but really it rings rather hollow. I know many things I've written or said since my diagnosis could easily be seen as a sort of naive optimism or worse; passivity baptised and disguised as virtue. But we're all adults here, right?
If we blame God for everything bad that happens in our lives (after all, he is omnipotent) then, in keeping with our own philosophy shouldn't we also thank him for all that is good? Our health, our families, a good marriage, a secure job, our gifts and talents; we like to take credit for all these things when in reality so much of that is beyond our control. Yes, bad things happen and God apparently allows this. Yet who do we thank for the good in our lives?