Show me what I'm looking for.

My favorite children's books is The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein. It is a simple, sad, beautiful story about a tree who loved a little boy. The tree was always happy giving the little boy what he wanted, but sad when the little boy went away. The boy (who grows up throughout the story) is always looking for something else from the tree... money, shelter, escape, rest. Ultimately, the tree is happy when the boy (who is now an old man) finds rest sitting on what is now... a stump.

I wonder if sometimes we treat God like that tree.

I've noticed that, as I've grown up, I've wanted different things from God. When I first became a Christian it was simply a pleasure to feel God near, to worship Him and do whatever I could to serve. I just wanted to spend my entire life bringing a smile to His face, and didn't think about many other things.

It seems that as we "grow up", we begin to believe that we can live our life on our own, or perhaps simply get by with a little help from God. We ask Him for a job, or a car, or some money or love or stability. We ask Him, and when He helps us we may or may not thank Him as we run off to our important, busy lives. We look for satisfaction in the things He can give, when the only true satisfaction lies in the giver.

I imagine how the boy in the story could have enjoyed the company and advice of the tree when he was looking to make his living. I wonder how much the tree would have loved to hear about the pretty girl he met the other day, or the awesome boating adventures he had that past week. I wonder how much love the boy was missing out on... if maybe he could have found rest and peace a lot sooner.

Now, in writing this, I was at first tempted to chastise the belittling of God in such a way, wondering how I could possibly think of the Omnipotent Creator as a humble friend and provider longing for our company. Instead, I am amazed at the beauty of His humility. Philippians 2 says that Christ did indeed humble himself in that way, loving us enough to long for our company. This fills my heart with regret, at all of the times I've put Him off and let Him down.

When my girlfriend wants to spend time with me, it is one of the most amazing feelings. I feel so loved when she tells me she misses me, when she expressed her desire to see me and tries to find some way to spend time with me despite our busy schedules. To think that God humbles himself to this kind of love for us is... unimaginable. amazing. beautiful.

So maybe I shouldn't treat God like the boy treated the tree. Maybe instead of telling God what I want and asking Him how He can help my purposes, I can just be happy to be with Him. Maybe I can let Him show me what I'm looking for.

1 comment:

Matt @ The Church of No People said...

Love The Giving Tree. I got to play the boy (when he cuts down the tree) in a primary school play.