I will enter your house with burnt offerings and will pay you my vows— those that I promised with my lips and spoke with my mouth when I was in trouble. – Psalm 66:13-14

To the Heavenly Accounting Department:

I am checking in on the status of my account. I am have lost track of my number of vows, promises, and offerings I have made with expectation of God’s response to them.

While I know that might not be how God works, I have hedged my bets and fervently kept my end of assorted bargains. I do know, however, that I probably have a balance due regarding things I have requested and received, but failed to keep my end.

So, I’m checking in to see what I’ve got due.

I hope the Office will remember my diminished capacity in this time, my own griefs, my frustrations, and the honest truth that I have lost track of exactly how my prayers have been answered because I sometimes was looking for something other than the thing that actually happened.

In fact, please, make a note in my file that I am not entirely convinced regarding the Divine response to my vows. Am I expected to keep up my end if there was a resolution to the situation, but it was not what I requested?

It’s not that I am questioning Divine prerogative or faithfulness, just that I am wondering if it really counts as completing that end of the bargain if it wasn’t specifically that for which I asked? Does that change my expected response?

Perhaps I should make another vow. If I could see God’s work in a clear and tangible way in this present situation, I will…

We both know I’m probably going to fail in whatever I promise.

Can we start a new ledger?

I will do the best I can, which admittedly will not always be very good.

And will God please be present and active in my life and in the world in ways I can see and understand?

Thank you.


The Reverend Julia Seymour serves Big Timber Lutheran Church (ELCA)  in Big Timber, MT. She blogs at lutheranjulia.blogspot.com and readsallthethings.com. She contributed to There’s A Woman in the Pulpit and is President of the board of RevGalBlogPals, Inc.


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