Some Mutuality Required

How do you feel, in a friendship or romantic relationship, when you are doing all the work, spending all the money, devoting all the time and effort? The answer is, pretty lousy. These relationships do not last. That is because relationships are about give and take. And this even applies to our relationship with God. I’m not saying that we can ever truly be on mutual terms with God. This is as impossible as becoming God. But a concept of mutuality is, I believe, required. The way I see it is this:

“I’ll pick up the bill, just leave it to me.”

“THANK YOU! Whew, I owe you man. But look, I do have a penny in my pocket, how about I put it towards the tip?”

Or conversely

(Offended) Well, it’s the least you could do, but I’m not even sure you exist. Are you there, God? Look, I’m gonna go wash dishes, I don’t need you. 

One thing people always say is, God bless, or God damn or goddamn (which sometimes almost implies damn God). And then, we ask God for things for ourselves in prayer. God, please give me this, God. Of course this isn’t always wrong, we have permission to supplicate, but what if that’s the extent of our relationship? Praying when we’re sad, or strapped for cash, or we think we’re about to die. It’s like the kid who only calls their parent to ask for money. It’s less than flattering.

In 1 Kings 8, I came across a “blessed be the Lord.” Of course, we usually allow God to do the blessing or damning, if we like to go that way, but what about blessing God? I seems unnatural, impossible, and in a literal sense, it may be. But if God is truly our friend, then shouldn’t we want well-being for Him also? Not that we have the immense power to single-handedly provide it, but can’t there be just some basic good-will there? Some worship?

I could be wrong about a lot of things. I don’t know how God is. But I don’t think I could go wrong by saying, “Blessed be the  name of the Lord,” like in that song. So I’ll leave it at that.



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