To participate, simply:
1) Steal a steal.
2) Write a post about it on your blog, mentioning that you’re participating in Saturday Steals (you can steal the above image if you so desire), and
3) Add the link to said post to the list at the bottom of this post.
I have had a problem weighing heavily on my mind for the past several weeks. When I’d wake up in the morning, it was the first worry to taint my thoughts, mainly because it was the last worry to burden them before I fell asleep at night.
This is nothing new, of course. Around the world there are millions (billions?) of people sleeping and waking, eating lunch and making love with enormous burdens weighing on their minds. I am one of a vast multitude, I know.
Still, unique or not, my problem was real. And it was mine alone to bear.
Leastwise, that’s how it felt on those nights when my thoughts forced me awake, staring while the clock marched on…two, three, four in the morning. How can I fix this?
After a few weeks of the strain, I decided something needed to change, for serious. At church on Sunday I had a few minutes to reflect on my woes; while I was so doing, I remembered a story I’ve known since my childhood about my great grandfather, Preston. Great Grandpa Preston, like me, had a problem weighing on his mind. He was in a funk, and had been for quite some time (so the story goes) when he decided to make a deal with God. He said, “God, I will take the next opportunity that comes my way if you will see to it that it’s the one I am meant to take.” (Incidentally, this was on his quest to find the woman he was supposed to marry.)
A short while later, GG Pres (sounds like a rapper name—I’m Gee Gee Pres and I’m in the house!) saw my (soon to be) Great Grandma Zina walking down the street. He courted her, married her, and here I am, the best thing ever to come from that fine match.
Or maybe not. But you know what I mean.
So sitting in the (semi) quiet chapel last Sunday, I decided I should take a page out of Preston’s book.
I made a deal with God.
God, I said, if you will do for me this one thing, here’s what I cannot do: I cannot promise that I won’t ever ask for anything again (because who knows what despair their lives will bring; I may need to save my blessings for later). I cannot promise that I will never be unhappy again. I cannot promise that I will always be perfect and obedient.
But I can promise to attend all three hours of church (a feat I don’t always fulfill; after playing the organ during the first hour-long meeting, I sometimes rationalise that I’ve paid my dues for the day) and I will go to the temple (this is something we’re asked to do as often as possible, which for me has been probably five times during the last nine months [it takes me four hours from beginning to end, no excuse, but kind of]). I will do both of these things once a week for the rest of my life (weather and health permitting).
That was the deal I made with God. For some people it would be so easy they wouldn’t even call it a deal—some people already do those things every week anyway.
But for me, the terms were equal to the end reward. It would be hard, I knew—it would be a sacrifice for me—but I was desperate for change. If I could have thought of higher stakes to add to my end of the deal, I would’ve.
Friends, less than 24 hours later, God accepted my terms.
Signed. Sealed. Delivered to my doorstep in a shiny red package with a big golden bow.
Poor Kyle asked me later if I was planning to keep my end of the bargain.
I told him I have never had a prayer answered so directly, so immediately, so blatantly before, and there is no way I could go back on my deal. I don’t break promises to anyone if I can avoid it—I don’t even miss appointments with my dentist—so how could I immediately renege on my end of the bargain just because it would take a lot of energy?
I couldn’t—not when God confirmed to me that, indeed, He sees me, He hears me, He knows me and He loves me. I may be dense, but not that dense.
It is a small price to pay.
Colossal problem solved and faith buoyed in the process? For a mere seven hours a week for the rest of my life?
Best deal I ever made.
Now it’s your turn! What have you stolen lately?
(Perchance it will be some fancy essential oil on my current giveaway? Entries are still pretty low, and the contest is open until Sunday at 11:59.)
Add your steal to the link list below. It will be open from now till Sunday at 11:59 p.m.
p.s. This will be your last chance to participate in Saturday Steals for a month—until the first Saturday in November.