Ages ago, before computers/Google, Dave and I were invited to a party, and “business casual” was the expected attire. We disagreed on what that looked like. Hubby leaned more toward the “casual” side. You know, shorts suitable for a beach party and a tee-shirt with three dolphins in a mid-air leap on the front pocket. I leaned toward the “business” side: an ankle-length skirt with a really cool jacket atop a lovely V-necked, linen shirt. We looked like a blind date gone wrong.
“Dave, this isn’t a barbecue at someone’s pool. We are going to a party in a hotel.”
“Well, Patty, the Marriott is not the Taj Mahal. You look like you are heading to a wedding. Or maybe a funeral.”
We both changed clothes. This time, Dave apparently was going to a job interview for a Fortune 500 company. He could have doubled as a plastic groom on a wedding cake. He told me that I was confusing a rodeo with a classy affair. (Hubby had no idea how chic cowgirl boots could be.) Clearly, neither of us had any idea what “business casual” meant.
And neither did anyone at the party. Men’s attire ranged from suits and ties to—you guessed it—a shirt with dolphins adorning the breast pocket, while women’s clothing ran the gamut from a glittered, semi-formal dress to short-shorts and a lacy tank top. There were no two people on the same apparel page.
Blame the host and hostess for using words that remain undefined. Or blame all of us guests for failing to ask what, exactly, “business casual” meant. But that’s human nature, isn’t it? We don’t want to appear ignorant, so we fail to ask…which, of course, magnifies our ignorance.
How many times have I done that? Too many to count. Especially when it comes to asking God for advice. After all, I can do it myself…figure it out…solve the problem. Why bother Him with my piddly little issues? Why? Because He tells me to. In the New Testament, we read that Paul spent the years after his conversion to Christianity, relying on God for help.
We are to continually pray in all kinds of situations (Eph 6:18). From healing our diseases to being given opportunities to disciple someone, to finding a parking spot, to having the willpower to say no to that chocolate-glazed donut, God wants us to bring our needs and desires to Him. All of them.
Recently, I read about a little girl named Riley whose dad worked for the Christian organization Focus. Sometimes he would share his youngster’s creative prayers…like this one: “Dear God. I am amazed at something. You are truly God. Heaven is so big, which means it must be heavy—and yet it can hang so high up in the sky above the clouds. How do you do that? OK. I was just wondering. Amen.”
I have to think that God loved such a heart-felt prayer and the young girl’s desire to take all of her questions to Him. In Luke 18:17, we read that Jesus wants us to learn from children like Riley: Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.
Our problem isn’t that we can’t get an answer; our problem is that we don’t ask.