The front of a used Mark Six ticket (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
There is an old Italian joke that goes like this:
A long time ago, in a small village, there lived an old man. This old man visited the statue of a great Italian saint everyday. And everyday, he prayed for the same thing: “Please, please, please, make me win the lottery.” Rain or shine, the old man would visit the saint’s statue and pray the same thing over and over again. Finally, one day, the saint had enough! When the old man came to the statue again and prayed to win the lottery, the saint finally replied, “My dear old man, please buy a lottery ticket first!”
Silly old man, right? Of course, he should’ve bought the lottery ticket first. But aren’t we sometimes like this old man? When we want something, we pray.. and well, that’s it. Nothing wrong with praying, of course. It is our means of communing with God. But, partnered with prayer should be our own effort and action. There is a popular Filipino saying that goes – Nasa Diyos ang awa, nasa tao ang gawa. (God’s mercy is on those who help themselves.) I know we’re all familiar with this saying and you’re probably going, “Duh, everybody knows that.” Yes, we all know it, but do we all REALLY practice it?
Sometimes, we Christians tend to use the term “God’s will” a little too far. I have some single Christian guy friends who LOVE using this term to excuse them from having to court a girl. If someone asks them why they don’t court anyone , they’ll be like, “Oh, cause I haven’t found the right girl yet. I’ll just wait for God’s will.” And they really do just sit around and wait. Unfortunately, life is not like an Axe commercial where hot girls will just fall out of the sky and land at your feet. We all want to meet our life partner according to God’s will – no argument there. But guys, do you expect God to do the courting and dating for you, too?
Or how about someone looking for a job? Yes, we all want a good job. But do we just sit around and wait for God to hand the job to us? That’s not really the way it works. You expect God to be the one to put on a suit and go from job interview to job interview?
I just think that Christians who keep using “God’s will” as an excuse for everything that’s happening (or not happening) in their life are misleading testimonies of Christianity. We are NOT exemplifying great faith by this kind of behavior; we’re displaying laziness and a waste of God-given skills and talents.
After all, “God’s will is not an itinerary, but an attitude.” It’s not a step-by-step life guide we demand from God. As children of God, we have the free will to choose our paths in life – but always with submissiveness to God’s will for us. Now that’s what I call faith.