After a very tasty meal, with some strong cafecitos gracing the table and refills not lacking, what can be more pleasant than relaxed conversation with close friends?? And, so the topics and comments flowed with the freedom that comes from trust in each other.
At one point, we were ruminating on the theme of God’s will. Santiago expressed the idea that it appears that God’s will is not always done. After all, Santiago rhetorically asked, “Why pray for God’s will to be done unless it is possible that it not be done?? Well, that got Maria, Santiago’s wife, to ponder. Her initial idea was that when something doesn’t turn out the way we were hoping for, what does happen is still God’s will. With these two ideas floating around the coffee cups, we were into full discussion mode.
It occurred to me to suggest that perhaps we could look at the situation from a little different angle, from the perspective that God doesn’t value everything as of equal value. Eyes crinkled a little with that proposal, and clearly the “Uh?” I was hearing were saying, “You need to explain yourself.”
I said that an example of what I had in mind can be seen in the death of Jesus. The details of Jesus’ life were important. His conversations, His healing miracles, His changing water to wine (of course that triggered “I sure would like to have tasted some of that wine!!”), His gestures, His rebukes – they were all important, but NOT as important as the salvation of humanity that could ONLY happen if Jesus were to die.
The main point I was trying to make was that God’s will coordinates with His value system. When I pray in accord with a value system that doesn’t match God’s, God will still act in accord with His value system. God’s value system will trump all other value systems.
There are some things that are so important to God that He makes sure that nothing will keep them from happening. But, not all things are that valuable to God. Certainly not everything I ask Him to do is valuable enough to God that He will do them. But, at the same time, He values our having moral choice enough to allow us to make those requests, and to experience the results of how those requests interface with His values.
God hears prayers. God responds to pray-ers. The prayers are important to God. The pray-ers are even more important to God.