Friday, December 30, 2011

What if all that we want isn't all that we want?

So I'm reading this book called the Divine Commodity by Skye Jethani and in one of his chapters he tells a story that really...struck me. I'm basically typing this out word for word here:

The Divine Commodity - Chapter 6: The Land of Desire (pg 113-114)
   On a previous visit I had been walking in New Delhi with my father. We were hoping to catch a break in the traffic when a boy approached us. He was probably six or seven years old, skinny as a rail, and naked but for tattered blue shorts. His legs were stiff and contorted, like a wire hanger twisted upon itself. He waddled on his hands and kneecaps, which were covered with huge calluses from the broken pavement. Like many other times in India, I wanted to close my eyes and pretend people in such misery didn't exist. But this persistent boy wouldn't let me.
   We kept walking down the street looking for a gap in the traffic, ignoring the bow and his shouts. "One rupee, please! One rupee!" The little guy was amazingly fast on his kneecaps, managing to stay ahead of us and i our field of vision. Finally, realizing he wasn't going to give up, my father stopped and gave the boy the satisfaction of looking him in the eye.
   "What do you want?" he asked.
   "One rupee, sir," the boy said while motioning his hand to his mouth and bowing his head in deference. My father laughed.
   "How about I give you five rupees?" he said. The boy's submissive countenance suddenly became defiant. He retraced his hand and sneered at us. He thought my father was joking, having a laugh at his expense. After all, no one would willingly give five rupees. The boy started shuffling away, mumbling curses under his breath.
   My father reached into his pocket. Hearing the coins jingle, the boys stopped and looked back over his shoulder. My father was holding out a five-rupee coin. He approached the stunned boy and placed the coin into his hand. The boy didn't move or say a word. He just stared at the coin in his hand. We passed him and proceeded to cross the street.
   A moment later the shouting resumed, except this time the boy was yelling, "Thank you! Thank you, sir! Bless you!" He raced after us once again - not for more money but to touch my father's feet. He blocked our way and alternated raising his hands with shouts of acclamation and bowing at my father's shoes. He was litereally worshiping us and attracting the attention of everyone on the street.
   This, I imagine, is how our God sees us - as miserable creatures in desperate need of his help. But rather than asking for what we truly need, rather than desiring what he is able and willing to give, we settle for the lesser things. And when God graciously says "no" to our misled desires and instead offers us more, we reject him. We turn away, cursing him under our breath. We simply cannot imagine a God who would give five rupees when all we desire is one.

...and I'm still thinking about this.

Do I hear God grabbing that five-rupee coin for me or am I too busy getting mad that He didn't give me the one-rupee that I asked for?  Probably somewhere in between...probably more towards the getting mad about not getting the one-rupee...


MVM said...

The hidden message in this story is amazing. Thank you for sharing.

Jared said...

@MVM - no problem.