It’s better to ask for forgiveness than ask for permission.

This is a motto that I have lived my life by for the past 34 years. It’s not that I find pleasure in pushing the boundaries of rules and expectations. Rather I think that it is a fear of ever being told “no”. I hate being told ‘no’.

I submitted an expense report at work several years ago which included a line item for a $20 fitness center use for a hotel I stayed at. While most hotels offer these facilities for free, this hotel was under the impression that their treadmills were superior. I guess by forking out the money, I agreed with them. By denying the $20 charge on my expense report, my company did not.

I spent an hour that evening typing up a letter to HR explaining how my personal fitness routine was the main contributing factor to my great work performance. I explained to them that while they required me to travel away from home for my job, they ‘owed’ me the ability to work out. I wrote a whole comparison of the charges for expensive company meals/rental cars/hotels and how my measly $20 fitness facility charge is peanuts to all the wasteful spending. I told them that they were in turn causing pain and extreme suffering for their employees, and that if they were denying their employees the ability to work out then I would just need them to only book me at hotels with free workout facilities.

I would show them…..

Or not.

“No.”

I hate being told no. I think I hate being told no so much that I would go to any length to find a way to carry out my goal despite the answer. Not one of my greatest traits.

One of the most interesting things about being a Christian is watching the way God works in our lives to give us answers to our prayers. Unless your name is Moses, God does not generally show up in a burning bush to audibly speak to us and give us the 4-1-1. It is fairly easy to just do whatever we want, seek God’s advice, and hope for the best. When we look back on situations, we can see how doors were indeed shut and how listening or not listening to God has led us into blessings or hardship.

I can’t tell you how many doors I have forced open in life just to be greeted by sorrow and hardship. Doors that were not opened by God, but doors that I kicked in trying not to have God tell me “No.”

“Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done” (Luke 22:41-42)

This phrase was spoken by Christ just before his crucifixion. It may be one of the most heartfelt and difficult prayers that Jesus ever prayed. He prayed it, knowing that he may not like the answer, but he would accept it either way. He knew he may be told ‘no’.

I am trying to learn from Christ.

I have prayed for a miracle lately, but every door has been shut along the way. For the first time in my life I have tried to listen. It’s hard to be told ‘no’, but my faith is growing that God knows what he is doing. It is still difficult though.

I am slowly learning to sit back, take a deep breath, and trust that God is bigger than it all. I know He will bless us in the end.

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