Covenant or Service level agreement?

A photo of a broken doll
Broken doll photo by Goran Zec – CC:By-SA

I’ve been thinking about prayer and expectations lately. Yesterday our daughter came downstairs a bit upset. The cause of the worry was that she thought she had ruined her head forever. It took us a short while to figure out that she meant not her own head but one of those toy ones you apply “make-up” to. _Quick tip: If you have a child with one of these – make sure they don’t apply face paint to it_.

> The interesting thing was that the words we said didn’t have as much effect as the actions we took

Almost on automatic pilot we went into standard comforting-parent mode. We started with “Oh don’t worry, it’ll be okay.”, skipped “It’s just a toy” and arrived at “Don’t worry we’ll look at it and sort it outi one way or another.”. You may recognise some of these from your own experience. The interesting thing for me was to see that from our daughter’s perspective the words we said didn’t have as much effect as the actions we took. All the promises in the world would not have convinced her it was actually going to be alright.

She is wise enough to know that sometimes toys are irrepairable but at that time what she needed was comfort, to be reassured that she was not in this alone. She needed a hug. She got that reassurance and – thanks to a can of WD-40 and a bit of elbow grease – it did turn out alright. Legendary Dad status confirmed but long before the fix she was calmer and reassured and you could tell – while worried – she was happier when she knew we were there for her.

> How often do we we interact with God on a results basis?

How often do we interact with God on a results basis? We make requests and look for an outcome. There’s a whole industry within the church dedicated to this kind of thinking but even those of us who don’t subscribe to “blab it and grab it” will still often approach God expecting a fix. What if we approached him looking not for a fix but for reassurance that we will come through this. What if we remembered this covenant is not a service level agreement? Sometimes that reassurance comes from the angels – A.K.A. friends – God places around us, sometimes it may be a little more direct. Sometimes it will be fixed, sometimes it will be alright, sometimes it won’t be how we expected but we don’t need to go through it alone.