And there things would have ended. But I did not want to admit the reality of my selfishness or the possibility that He might deny my desires, so I had to avoid the conversation entirely. I had to invent a different God, one who operated according to strange and manipulative rules. I had to turn my relationship with Him into an abstract, cosmic struggle, when all along it was really this: the Father commanding His child, the child saying "I refuse." Such a simple, everyday event--literally, for I have avoided small daily pains for years by the numbing distraction of big questions, complicated considerations, titanic struggles. All along it was this, so small, so humiliating.
Me: I want this (or that).
God: You may not have it.
And yet so freeing. "Our Father . . . Thy will be done."