During our Religious Education (RE) class in 5th Grade, our teacher asked us to write down some of the things we can say to God when we pray. I thought I knew better. While the other kids scratched their heads and tried to discuss with each other before writing, I went ahead.
I ask God to protect me
I ask God to help me
I ask God for strength
I ask God for inspiration
I ask God for good luck
I ask God to bless me
I ask God to guide me
I ask God to heal me
I kept writing and writing and every sentence was about asking God for something. Then, my teacher walked up to me and asked if she could read what I was writing. I did not hesitate to give her my book. I was so proud of what I wrote and couldn’t wait to hear what she would say to me. And the moment she made her comment was the moment I looked at God differently.
She said, “Is that all you say when you pray? Asking God for every single thing you need in your life? Do you even know how to say thank you or just be grateful for what you have?”
She was so right!
I kept asking God, give me this, give me that. I want this, I want that. At other times, I would be complaining, and questioning him. The thought made me so embarrassed.
Most times, as human beings, we turn to focus on our needs. They are in fact a priority above any other thing in our relationships, family and career. In doing so we forget the needs of the other people around us.
Instead of asking for so much, let’s try to appreciate the little things that we have like food, water, shelter, money, clothing, and the things that cost us absolutely nothing, like life, love, joy, peace, friendship, sunshine and the list goes on and on.
That night before going to bed, I closed my eyes and began thanking God for everything that I had in my life that were irreplaceable, and especially for the most important lesson that I had learnt during my RE class.
Remember, not everything we have in life is given to us upon making a request, a lot of things we have were given for free and without us even asking for them because we simply cannot live without them.