“From everyone to whom much as been given, much will be required; and from the one whom much as been entrusted, even more will be demanded.” Luke 12:48
Demanded? Required? Ok, God. Can I ask a favor? Could you soften those words just a little? Demanded sounds so… harsh.. How about asked? And instead of required, could you maybe substitute preferred? It sounds too much like you are reviewing my wonderful and happy life and are looking down on me saying, “Now it’s payback time.” I want you to be an easy God, one who doesn’t ask a lot except that I “be good.”
What are you asking? What kind of payback are you demanding? How much are you requiring of me? I guess deep in my fears, my real question is: are you asking me for more than I can give you? Yes, I’ve been given a lot and a lot has been entrusted to me. But I’m afraid.
You know, this is the kind of conversation I have with my kids. Aren’t these the same kinds of things my kids say to me when I demand their best? Yes, I guess I do demand from them. Funny, it doesn’t sound quite so ominous when I put it in the context of the way I love my kids. I watch them grow and mature, see their incredible gifts and of course I require that they do what they need to do, to become their best, most complete selves. I demand it of them because I love them so much.
Wait, I’m making the connection here, God. I think I see what you are doing. You see the many gifts I have been given, including my faith, my relationship with you. You love me so much, even more than I love my children, that you are just asking me to stretch myself outside my normal boundaries because I have you to support me. You are making loving demands on me. Maybe you are asking me to be less fearful of letting others get to know me, or less self-absorbed and more interested in others. Perhaps you are inviting me to be a support to someone else.
My original panic was centered around the fact that I wasn’t sure what you were going to ask of me. But you aren’t going to ask me for anything I can’t do, because I’m not doing it alone. I can do it only with your help. When I want to run and hide, you are loving me, demanding of me, inviting me into something deeper, more vulnerable, some way I can better serve you.
Dear God, please lead me to more courage as I understand what you demand and require of me. Let me see it as your way of loving me, asking me for more and stretching me to grow into more of the person you created me to be. Thank you for your love and for asking so much of me. Most of all, thank you for all I have been given.
By Maureen McCann Waldron