Daily Archives: October 29, 2012

Ask – But Be Prepaired

Good Monday Morning,

Several things this past week pointed me to this notion of “be careful what you ask for.”  I thought I’d share some thoughts and my insight.

I always find myself asking for things – material or otherwise – sometimes without really thinking about what I’m asking for and the implications of having asked for that particular thing.  I’m not so much thinking about the ‘thing’ that I ask for but the implied responsibility associated with it.  Whether it be taking care of the item, using the item responsibly, or the influence that you will have having been given that ‘thing’, there is always another side of this ‘gift’ – responsibility.

Responsibility is an oft over looked part of asking for something, for taking action, for wanting to do; however, it’s as fundamental to the request as the request itself and it comes in many forms. We all want to take action, to do things, to ‘step up’, to  act.  And, even as small as that may seem or as minor as the request may be, there is always a responsibility for what we do. Many look at a request for something as only that; but in fact, there’s the other side of asking for something that is often overlooked – the consequences. Having asked and been given, implies that at least, you’re going to be responsible for what you ask and are given.  For example, when you ask to borrow someone’s property, there’s an implicit responsibility that you’re going to take care of it and return that property in as good or better condition than when it was borrowed.  You use the car and my expectation is that you’re going to take care of it; and even more, you’re going to handle the responsibility of that with the respect and care that it’s due.  Likewise, being given a task to do or assuming a particular role in an organization implies that not only are you going to do the job; but, in the assumption of the role, you will act in a certain manner.

In last Sunday’s Gospel, James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to Jesus and said to him, “Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you.” He replied, “What do you wish me to do for you?” They answered him, “Grant that in your glory we may sit one at your right and the other at your left.” Jesus said to them, “You do not know what you are asking. Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you will be your servant; whoever wishes to be first among you will be the slave of all.

So, this is exactly what I’m talking about – it’s not so much what James and John were asking for (the honor/pleasure/distinction of sitting next to Jesus) but more importantly, and what they failed to fully understand, was what being granted that request implied or required.  It wasn’t just about being there beside Jesus; it was ALL about the responsibility associated with that.  In other words, if you’re going to sit next to me, know what you’re in for and know that this is more important that just sitting here – it is the responsibility/obligation of sitting here and it could involve your life – it’s that serious.

After a week of thinking through this, I’ve come to the conclusion, personally, that I’ll give a little more forethought to my requests.  I’ll take the time to make sure that I not only understand the ‘direct’ implication of my request; but also, the indirect responsibilities that are probably more important.  When I ask for a blessing, before I ask, I’ll spend that extra few minutes trying to fully understand what that might mean – the associated responsibility.

So, whether it be a material possession, a request to do something, or a request to take on a certain role, take a few minutes to fully understand that what you’re asking for isn’t just that ‘thing’.  There are implied responsibilities that come with the request that you’ll have to also handle appropriately.

“Pause, reflect, request – only if you dare to be responsible.”

God bless & have a great week.