But even people active in faith are often quick to have an attitude of "What have you done for me lately, God?"
It is not a new phenomenon either--something only the "current generation" experiences. King David wrote two millennia ago in (Ps. 78:42) "They did not remember his power in the day when he ransomed them from the enemy." He was recounting the activities of the Israelites who lost patience with God's timetable. Maybe if it were in this age it might have been better -- if there were digital photos of the plagues that had gotten Pharaoh's attention and phones with older text message of having been spared the final plague, and being given safe passage from the soldiers through the parted sea, and manna and quail provided for provisions, or the clothing they wore for decades without wearing out as they wandered in the desert. It is hard to understand how they could have forgotten all that.
But we do it every day. We ask for help from infertility, to work and the ability to feed ourselves and our families, to finding the right place to live, and how to get along in a new situation, to keeping or getting healthy, to caring for our children with wisdom and our parents with dignity, and a thousand other things that keep us focused on God as our Lord and source of help. But it seems the further I get from that time of deep reliance, the more casual I get about the miracles large and small that got me through.
So, today I am turning that question around and asking myself, "What have I done lately that makes God happy?" Sometimes folks are called to commit their lives to working among the poorest of the poor and I am are both blessed and intimidated by their commitment to such important work. But in truth every day God places folks in my way that need a smile, a conversation, a meal, a prayer and we are so distracted by the very blessings God has given us we don't notice or we believe we don't have enough to help.
Today I will take the time to be the person who offers a bit of encouragement, help, attention, time, effort, cash, prayer, kindness or courtesy in a way that is informed by the memories of all the times God sent someone to offer these things to me at times of challenges, loneliness, anxiety or need.
Will you join me?