B is for Bargaining

After staying there for a considerable time, Paul said farewell to the believers and sailed for Syria, accompanied by Priscilla and Aquila. At Cenchreae he had his hair cut, for he was under a vow . (Acts 18:18)

A man found himself
in the midst of a perfect storm of catastrophes.
In desperation he asked God’s help,
promising under solemn oath
he would sell his house and give the money to the poor
if he got out of all his troubles.

When he realized that
his problems had been solved
and it was time to keep his vow,
he regretted his promise.

Then he thought of a way out.
He sold his house for $100
providing the buyer also paid $100,000 for the land.
The man put $100 a Salvation Army kettle
and pocketed the rest.

He was pleased with himself for keeping his vow to God.

I have done in many times
more years ago than recently.
St. Paul did it;
so have other holy men and women
who should have known better.
Most people have done it —
and do it to this very day:
try to bargain with God.
Bargaining belittles God
and shows a lack of faith
in the goodness and providence of God.


About Paul Wharton

I am a cradle Catholic, a native West Virginian, and a priest since April 24, 1982. Spiritual Direction has made a tremendous difference in my life and I encourage people to try it out. My motto is "Progress not perfection." I am grateful that God has done for me what I could not do for myself.
This entry was posted in Humor, Prayer, Scripture, Songs and Poetry, Stories. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to B is for Bargaining

  1. If we pray and then leave all in God’s hands, give all things to His Will, we should find much needed peace. Bargaining with God does not work. Creatures cannot make deals with their Creator.

  2. Paul Wharton says:

    Good words.

    I thought you were going to say, “B is for Buttaci!”

  3. Emma Doughton says:

    The first thing I look for on my e-mail is “Hearts On Fire” now. It helps me get through the day.

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