But once in awhile life gets hectic, stressed, entirely too busy, and you find yourself needing a dish for a potluck with exactly one hour to cook it and no extra time for much prep. So then I pull out this three can, two bottle, two bag recipe, dump it all in a pot and go on with my life. I have learned not to let it bother me when this stuff gets more raves than another recipe I spent six hours on. I have also learned not to tell anyone what’s in it until they taste it because it is truly a weird concoction, but oh, so good.
Those Party Meatballs, as the recipe calls them, have been my salvation more than once. Sometimes we need something easy instead of something elaborate. If it meets the need and is just as tasty, who cares? There will be plenty more times for elegant three layer cakes and brined, crusted. herb-infused entrees.
God understood that, too. When I was very young I thought you couldn’t pray except at certain times, using certain phrases, making sure it was long and full of heavy, theological words and concepts, usually from the King James Version. Why I thought that I don’t know. The Bible is full of examples of people praying in all sorts of situations, all sorts of postures, long prayers, short prayers, prayers of profundity and simple prayers of just a few words. Maybe that was the problem: I just hadn’t studied enough myself. All I had done was listen to what others told me.
Now I know better. Now I know that in the middle of a crisis I can send up a quick prayer for control, for calm, for an easy resolution. I don’t always need an opening salutation, I can just say, “Help me, Lord.” I don’t have to preface everything with my own unworthiness. Usually in the middle of a problem, that is already on my mind anyway and God knows it just as well as I do.
I don’t have to find a quiet spot alone. I can talk to God in the middle of a milling crowd if my child has wandered off and I can’t immediately find him. In fact, I can scream to Him if I want to. God understands if there isn’t time to hunt up a closet right now. In fact, He is more than pleased that I think of Him first in trying circumstances. He is thrilled that my relationship with Him can be so spontaneous. There will be other times for reverence.
God makes it easy for you to talk to Him. People who have set up word and posture requirements, with ideological notions of “propriety,” are the ones who make it difficult to approach God. He went to a lot of trouble and pain and sacrifice to make Himself available at any time in any circumstance.
You may not want Party Meatballs all the time, but when the time is short and the need is urgent, they will do just fine. We certainly need lengthy times of humility and reverence in our approach to God. But God also made a simple way for us when we need Him quickly. Don’t let anyone mess with His recipe.
May all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you! May those who love your salvation say evermore, "God is great!" But I am poor and needy; hasten to me, O God! You are my help and my deliverer; O LORD, do not delay! Psalm 70:4-5.
For the recipe accompanying this post, click here.