Thursday, August 20, 2009

Pondering "Favorites"


I was talking with a friend a couple of years ago while we waited for our swim class to begin at the YMCA. Somehow the conversation came to the point where she said, "I don't know about God. I am NOT one of His favorites." I was stunned. You see the One she so coldly and  impersonally referred to as "God," is the One I most often refer to as "Father God." He is my Heavenly Father and I had never considered, to that point anyway, whether or not He had favorites or "played" favorites. 

Okay, so this week I began to ponder this question again. The stirrings began after I left three of my grandchildren last Saturday. My daughter Lolly is the mother of Jacob who will be seven at the end of September and Anna who will be two in November and then in July she gave birth to baby Mary. Trust me...I am crazy about these kids...I love them to pieces and they are only three of a total of eight. At this point in my life I feel truly blessed in the "grandmother" area.

So I love these kids, but the question is, "Do I have a favorite?"
Well, it would certainly appear as if I do. You know that Mary, at just a few weeks old, has simple needs and is only now beginning to smile and respond to those around her. I love to snuggle with her, care for her basic needs and, every week, I am anxious to see how much she has grown. But really, Mary doesn't yet know that I will one day be her favorite grandma.

And then there is Jacob, nearing 7, ready to start full day, all day school. He is busy. He is preoccupied. He barely has time to tell his grandma hello before he is off and running or caught up in whatever it is that has captured his attention for the moment. And, if there are any of his "others" around, like cousin Julia or Lil' Ricki, well forcing a hug and a moment of attention is stretching his patience considerably.

And then there is Anna. When this grandma walks in the door she can't get to me quick enough. She throws herself in my arms and begins a steady stream of conversation. She is learning quickly to know that, she may be "daddy's angel" but she's "Grandma Deb's girl." She wants all of my time and all of my attention. She hasn't necessarily expressed jealousy when I am holding Mary, but she certainly wants me to make room on my lap for her. When I am around even "the momma" (who is probably her favorite person in the whole world) seems to take second place, and she is not above brushing off her other favorites for me, either.

I suppose you can guess how I respond to Anna's overtures of love and affection. And, I suppose, to some, it would appear that Anna is my favorite. But think about it for a moment and ponder why it might just be that someone who feels like, "I am NOT one of His favorites" would come to that conclusion. Consider the responses I receive from these three grandchildren and relate it to how we respond to God.

There are those of us who, like Mary, are infantile in our relationship with Him. It's about our basic needs and not much more. Or we can be like Jacob, busy and preoccupied with other people or other things. Our world teaches self-reliance and all the other "self" stuff.

Now consider Anna's response. Doesn't it make sense that those of us who run into "Father God's" arms, who long to spend time with Him, who are persistent in communication. with Him, who express love and affection in numerous ways....well, no wonder someone would think "I am one of His favorites!" Aren't I? Or does it just appear that way?

I think the bottom line here is this. I believe He loves us all equally, but doesn't it make sense that, if we are responding to God like Anna responds to me, our relationship with Him will be more delightful, more fulfilling and more satisfying...and it might even appear as if we are His favorite? I would love to know what you think.

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