So last week, before the launch of the planners, while sitting in my quiet place—yes, I was in the bathroom—I found myself asking God for another prenuptial agreement. And no, prenups are not just for people contemplating marriage. They also can be considered a legal bond and, in my case, one between God and I prior to entering into a contract with each other [at least that is the way my mind defines it, and who am I to argue with my mind]. Now before you get all judgy and tell me how it is ridiculous to ask God to sign a prenup, do know that I think it is more ridiculous to ask an imperfect human to sign a contract to be perfect.
We are guilty of having done this with God at some point in our lives. Are you doubting me? I can feel you doubting me! Fine…to help you release this doubt, let’s discuss it a little more. Even though you may not have done it from your special “quiet place,” we all have asked/prayed to God at some point, pleading with Him to give us as a tangible sign so we can feel more confident with a decision. “But Lisa, that is not asking Him to sign a prenup. You are being ridiculous!” Clearly, you are not convinced. So, let me explain—a.k.a. translate—what we are truly asking of God, and then tell me who is really being ridiculous.
Us [Yes, I am guilty too]
“God, can you please give me a sign that this person is the one for me?”
“God, I am lonely and even though there are so many red flags flashing in front of me, I need you to fix them because I am afraid to do what I really know is right. So, I need you to sign a pre-relationship agreement/guarantee, that you will remove the red flags and make this person perfect.”
Us [Yes, I am very guilty]
“God, am I making the right career decision? Should I stay on the safe path or should I take a risk and follow my dreams?”
“God, I am afraid of failing. I am afraid that other people will see me fall. God, I don’t think that I am knowledgeable enough or have enough resources to do what it takes. And if I am to be completely honest, I don’t trust that You will keep me from failing or falling. So, I need You to sign a pre-decision agreement guaranteeing that, no matter the obstacle, you will ensure things go according to my plan and my plan alone. I’m thinking along the lines of a rock-solid pledge…like how you gave Moses…something written in stone would suffice.”
Us [I’m guilty again]
“God, I don’t know what to do. I feel as if I am going backward. As if everything I do is never enough, and nothing is going to change. God, can you please give me a sign that I have a purpose and that things will get better?”
“God, I know I am your child. And yes, I know that I was made in your image and that you have said all I need to have is the faith of a mustard seed. But I don’t feel like I am enough. I don’t believe that all the gifts and blessings you have poured into me is enough. God, I know I should know better, and even though I understand the concept in my head, I don’t feel it in my heart. So, I am going to need you to provide me with a signed and personalized contract, just between you and me [as I don’t want people to know how I really feel], for me to feel better.”
Hopefully, my attempt at translating how we unconsciously ask God for pre- decisions/relationships/careers/experiences (i.e. life agreements) gave you some clarity. Is making these agreements a good thing? The answer, quite simply, is no. Such requests/demands leave us in a debilitating and pusillanimous state, unable to move forward and take chances. We want the rewards without having to endure the risk or pain. Even though we know better and we know the truth, we somehow allow others, as well as our own voices, to talk us out of living courageously.
Asking God to leave His throne and show Himself to us, in order for us to receive a personalized, signed play-by-play handbook from which we can make decisions on whether or not we will live our lives is nothing short of ridiculous. I mean, He already gave us the Bible. But no, we want a customized agreement where He writes something more along the lines of… “On day 200 of your 36th year, when approached by Fred—who you already know means you no good—take the following steps: Do not give him your number and do not go out with him. But if you forget your rulebook at home (or you decided to ignore it) and by chance you do give him your number, I will turn him from a toad to a prince just for you.” I am hoping that by now you see how preposterous we really live our lives.
We already know what we should do. We already have His guidelines and daily assistance. But no…we want fairytales where we always get our own way, where God makes things go according to our plan without any risk but all the reward. Life does not work that way. There are repercussions for actions; we do sometimes fall, fail and get rejected. Life doesn’t come with a crystal ball and we won’t always get all the details up front [trust me, I wish we did]. But even without a prenup agreement, do know that God is with you. It may not always go the way you want, but it will have a purpose in the end.