After the event, I ran a few errands, just doing those things you generally do on a Saturday afternoon. At one point I was sitting in my car, checking emails, while parked in a shopping center parking lot. I noticed a slightly older woman in a wheelchair, rolling through the lot, but I didn't pay much attention to her, until...
She appeared at my window. I rolled down my window and that's when she told me that she needed some money to buy a few groceries. She said that someone else had given her a few dollars, but she needed more. She asked me to please not judge her, that she wasn't a bad person, but that she was a good woman who had fallen on hard times.
Maybe because I'd just attended the women's conference, maybe because she was in a wheelchair, maybe because I had a few extra dollars, maybe because she asked me not to judge her, I gave the woman $5. She thanked me, rolled away, and mentioned that she just needed to get three more dollars in order to do get what she needed.
I saw her approach a gentleman who was just coming out of the store, but I didn't watch long enough to see if he gave her money or not.
Then, in less than 3 minutes, she rolled back over to me. I rolled down my car window and asked if she'd gotten the three dollars she needed. She told me that she had not. She looked pitiful to me. So I gave her another $5.
This woman rolled off saying all of the appropriate things, "thanks!", "God bless you", "you're so kind." all the rest. But then the last thing she said really caused me to pause...
She said, "Now I just need two more dollars."
I was stunned. Shocked. Speechless!
Because the woman had just told me that she needed three more dollars and I'd given her five more. When I called upon my limited mathematical ability, I determined that she should now have a surplus of $2 and not NEED another $2. She had more than she asked for.
I suddenly felt used and just plain stupid. I wondered if she really needed that wheelchair, or was it all a part of her act? I felt like I'd been conned.
Now, fast forward to Sunday afternoon...
It was a beautiful day. I enjoyed my church service, had a wonderful visit with my mother, life was grand. As I was driving home, I was thinking about how happy I was, and then I said to myself (and kinda hoped God would hear me), life would REALLY be grand if I had a man in my life. Not necessarily a husband, but a man to hang out with and go places with, you know? If only I had a man.
And then my mind went to Wheelchair Woman in the parking lot from the day before. Here's why...
If you know anything about my story, you know that I've had some wonderful advantages but, like everyone else, life has dealt me a couple of hard blows, too. Thankfully, the good has greatly outweighed the bad and the bad is mostly behind me.
But, rather than thank God for all of this on that beautiful Sunday afternoon, I had the audacity to tell Him that this is not quite enough. I want more.
Who does this remind us of? Yes, Wheelchair Woman.
She asked me for a specific amount of money and got more than she even asked for. Yet, she still went begging for more, leaving the giver (aka me) to feel unappreciated.
But she's not much different from me. God has given me more than I asked for, yet I ask for more and more... and more.
In other words, I'm saying...
"Thanks, God, I have great family and friends, but..."
"I appreciate the job I enjoy, but..."
"I know I said I wanted this house and then I'd be so happy, so you made it possible for me to get it, but now..."
"God, I have good health, but this isn't quite enough anymore... "
"I'm out of that difficult marriage, but..."
Doesn't that sound horrible! I'm ashamed of myself.
This isn't to say that I shouldn't ask God for the desires of my heart, I have that privilege. But I also need to be sure to THANK HIM for the things he's already given me, the things that He's already done for me. Otherwise, I'm playing the same game played by Wheelchair Woman.
I never want God to feel unappreciated or conned. He's done much too much for me.
In all things, and in every season, I must remember to give thanks.