I remember when my oldest son, as a pre-teen, began subtly insulting me. He would start a statement with, "No offense, Mom, but.." then he would go on to say something negative about my cooking, child-rearing skills, or hair-style.
This reminds me of the way we Catholics, who claim to be in a loving, trusting relationship with our Heavenly Father, say to him, "No offense, but I don't think you know what you are doing." Then we try to solve our problems using the "wisdom" of the day, instead of God's wisdom. Unfortunately, the eventual result of ignoring God's way of doing things is that we end up just as unhappy as those who have never been taught to trust in God.
When we take the road less traveled and do things God's way, we get great results—wholeness, a sense of peace and well-being, confidence in and friendship with Christ—the best this imperfect life has to offer.
But it can be hard to choose God's way, which inevitably includes waiting, crying, frustration, and hard work. We might give Him a couple months or even a couple years to solve a particular problem, but eventually, we are sorely tempted to take over. "God," we say, "I gave you every opportunity to fix this and you won't. No offense, but I think I will try things my way now."
We don't really trust him, you see. It is the same ol' sin of Adam and Eve. God might have created the universe and everything in it, but he doesn't know how to make me happy and fulfilled...I, on the other hand, know exactly what I need.
The underlying question is, can we really trust our Heavenly Father to make good on his promises? Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and everything we need will be provided for us? (see Matthew 6:33) Can this really be true? I mean...really?
Or how about in Matthew 10:39 when Jesus says if we lose our life for his sake, we will find it? That statement flies in the face of common sense—are we Christians really supposed to make it the guiding principle of our lives? That's pretty radical.
Life is complex and presents us with many difficulties. God's way of dealing with and solving problems and the world's way are often diametrically opposed. God's criteria involves an eternal perspective, a Heavenly Father who desires that all of his children learn obedience, just as Jesus did (see Hebrews 5:8), and a Church established by Christ to guide us. The world's criteria involves immediate relief from any kind of pain and suffering, the conviction that "we deserve," and a gross misunderstanding of freedom.
The choice is ours. Will we solve our problems God's way or the world's way?
Let's trust God and stop trying to sit on the fence—on one hand wanting a relationship with God and desiring all of the good things he has to offer and on the other hand, doing things our own way. It doesn't work like that...no offense.