June 18, 2019

Hadley is going into the sixth grade. These past few weeks have been pretty rough due to her numerous surgeries. Because I believe ice cream is the cure for everything, I decided to load her up.

I called Hadley on her mother’s phone and asked what flavor ice cream I could bring. I could tell she was hesitant to even ask for a particular flavor but after a little coxing, she decided she wanted Cookies and Cream. Then I asked about toppings.

At first, the only thing Hadley would say was chocolate sauce. But after some prodding, she finally understood I was going to bring her as many toppings as she wanted. Her order was: Cookies & Cream ice cream with chocolate sauce, sprinkles, marshmallows, crushed cookies and chocolate chips. I was so proud.

In fact, by the time the girl at the counter finished making Hadley’s ice cream concoction, we realized the only way I could get it to the truck as in a wheelbarrow. I was so proud.

As we sat down to eat the ice cream, the first thing Hadley said was thank you. And then we began to talk. I had no idea someone that small could eat that much. I was so proud.

Once we were done, I waddled out to my truck, climbed in and realized what a blessing it had been for me to be able to bring Hadley exactly what she wanted. All she had to do is ask. Sadly, this says something about my prayer life.

Because I never want to be presumptuous before the Maker of the Universe, there are times when I don’t really tell God what I want. I beat around the bush and hope God gets the point. But that’s not an effective prayer.

True prayer is sharing with God all our hopes and dreams, both for ourselves and others. True prayer is also sharing with God our failures, faults, and sins. True prayer is withholding nothing from the one who made, sustains, and saves us. True prayer is honest, candid, and sincere. It is more than just going through the motions or reciting a formula. It’s a conversation with the One who loves us more than life itself.

Jesus said, “When you are praying, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do; for they think that they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. Pray this way: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And do not bring us to the time of trial, but rescue us from the evil one.” (Matthew 6:7-13)

My time with Hadley reminded me to be completely open with God. I needed that.

Prayer: Dear Gracious Heavenly God, help me deepen my prayers. Help me open myself up and truly hear your will for my life. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

Just for the record, the most important thing I will do this week is eat ice cream with a sixth grader.

I love my job.

I pray your day is filled with joy and laughter.

Tom Robbins