Don’t ask God to fix your problems, ask God to fix you so that you can fix your problems
Some people think that if they just pray to God, he will fix their problems.
However, such outsourcing of problems to God is problematic. If our problem doesn’t get fixed, we lose faith in God. If our problem gets fixed, we start expecting that our other problems will be similarly fixed. And that expectation sets us up for frustration because life sometimes presents problems that just can’t be cured; they just need to be endured.
How, then, can we better relate with God? By honoring the nature and role that God has given us.
The Bhagavad-gita (15.07) indicates that we all are souls who are parts of God, Krishna. He has made all of us as conscious beings. And he has given us intelligence, initiative and talent. We are meant to use these gifts for playing our part in the unfolding of the divine plan for our lives, thereby contributing socially and connecting spiritually with our Lord.
The Bhagavad-gita demonstrates such an initiative-centered approach to God. At the start of the Gita, Arjuna is mortified at the prospect of a catastrophic war and asks Krishna for help. By the end of the Gita, Krishna has not fixed Arjuna’s problem: the agonizing war still confronts Arjuna. But Krishna has fixed Arjuna: the Gita’s message has fixed Arjuna’s confusion, thereby fixing him in devotional determination to shoulder his responsibility (18.78).
Learning from the Gita, we can avoid making our relationship with God conditional to his fixing our problems. Instead, we can pray that our relationship with him becomes fixed so that we can face life’s problems gracefully. Being thus devotionally fixed, we can fix problems that are solvable and not fixate on problems that are unsolvable, growing through both in everlasting spiritual realization.
Think it over:
- What is the problem with outsourcing our problems to God?
- By speaking the Gita, what did Krishna do and not do for Arjuna?
- What can you do to help Krishna fix you, that is, make you fixed in devotional determination?
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