Your Latin lesson for the day…
If you’ve watched “Law and Order” as much as I have, chances are, you have heard this phrase before. But also, if you’re like me, you don’t know exactly what it means.
The phrase means “This for that.”
It’s an understanding between two parties that if one does “this” for the other, the other will do “that” for them. Or if this happens then that will follow.
I’ve been thinking about this a lot recently because of my current situation. (Stepping out in the void to pursue writing, speaking, coaching and consulting on my own) I would love to have a quid pro quo relationship with God. I have days when I wish I could simply follow a list of my things and God would come through with His things. If I do this, He’d do that.
In other words, wouldn’t it be cool if we knew…absolutely knew for certain if we did A, B and C; that God would always, every time do X, Y and Z? A God of formulas. A predictable God. A God you can count on to do things your way.
Wouldn’t that be nice?
Uh…no. It wouldn’t.
First of all, a God of formulas or a God you can predict isn’t a God of wonder and mystery and awe. In fact, a God that would always follow the formula of doing things your way wouldn’t be God at all.
There was a time when “God will always do (and only do) what He says He’ll do in His word” and “God is a sovereign God” (in other words, God will do what He wants, when He wants) would do battle in my mind and spirit.
Can you relate? These things aren’t easily grasped or understood. And just about the time you get a little bit of clarity it fades into the fog once again. If God didn’t intend for us to follow His word, why did He say those things…make those promises?
Well…here’s what I think.
There is no quid pro quo. Just because God did it one way this time doesn’t mean He’ll do it that way next time. Just because God did it for you doesn’t mean He’ll do it for you again, or do it for someone else. God doesn’t do formulas. He doesn’t follow “this for that.”
And that’s the way I like Him.
Full of wonder and mystery. He wouldn’t be God otherwise.
God is justice. But He’s also mercy. He says if you want to lead, you must be a servant. If you want to be first, you must be last. He says if you want it all, you have to give it all away. He’s the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. But His mercies are brand new every morning. He is the God of Love and Peace but He also carries a sword and wears a robe dipped in blood.
His duality is wonderful. Crazy and maddening but wonderful just the same.
Your God, the God whom you serve loves you too much to fit into your little box or to shape His will around your nice and neat plans. He loves you too much to bow down to you or your formulas.
His ways are far above ours. That’s why He has “God” on His name tag.
There is no quid pro quo. Get used to it.