One morning as I knelt down to pray, my mind was occupied with all my shortcomings. The cup was definitely half empty; I felt so needy, so deficient in the virtues a Christian wife and mother should possess.
“Dear Heavenly Father,” I began, “please grant me more patience and more wisdom in dealing with situations that come up. Help me to understand Your will, Lord, and grant me the grace to do what I know is right. Bless me with a ‘meek and quiet spirit’ as I relate to my family. Help me to be more cheerful and encouraging.”
And the Holy Spirit said, “Gimme, gimme, gimme.”
That shocked me out of my ‘poor and needy’ mood. I realized that, yes, that’s exactly what I was saying. I was calling God my Father, but instead of talking to Him sensibly, as a child would talk to a parent, I was treating Him like a spiritual-virtues ATM.
How would I feel if my child would come to me and say, “Mom, give me my dinner… and buy me some new clothes… and do my laundry… and clean up my room, and…”
These are all very legitimate needs, but wouldn’t I long for some more meaningful conversations with them? Don’t I enjoy hearing about their day and listening to their ideas, hopes, goals? Wouldn’t I also appreciate hearing a “Thanks, Mom, for everything you do” now and then?
Is my Heavenly Father any different?
Since then I’ve tried to keep in mind as I pray that He is my Father, not my ATM.