Leah Farmer

Personal perspectives on faith, literature, and life.

Life is not a Ring Toss

“The churches have made God a commodity, attempting to ‘sell’ him as an answer to all of life’s problems and anxieties. In a capitalistic, market-driven world, God is just one more product to satisfy our needs.”

There is so little and so much I can say about this quote. It is so true that it breaks my heart. I want to say “NO! That can’t be true!” But then as I read on, Rollins makes an excellent case for this statement. We sell God to people as the grand solution to every problem and then when their lives don’t perfectly fall into place, we accuse them of not bearing fruit or being held back by their own doubt. When the people who try to purchase a little satisfaction on a Sunday morning don’t find it and remain HUMAN…and therefore screwed up…we don’t ask ourselves different questions. We point at those people and call them the problem.

I get this vision when I read this quote of a Carnival trickster selling expensive ring toss games that are rigged to keep people from winning the big Teddy Bear hanging in the corner. I’ve stepped into a season of my life where I’m finally saying “Is this game fixed so I can’t win?”. The guy running the game is like “NO!!! Of course not. Shut up!” And the people around me are staring at me…then at him…then back at me. Some think I’ve lost my mind to question the fairness of the game because why would such a nice guy trick us. Others have the same question but have been afraid to ask it because the answer may mean they have to do something different…like NOT play. While still others are sure it is indeed rigged but find it ridiculously annoying that I would point it out and ruin everyone else’s fun.

Here’s what I know.

God is not a product. God is not for sale. God is a friend of mine. One that I’ve come to rely on for friendship even when I’m not sure what else is true. I also believe I’m special to God…and also that you are…and that guy…and that hateful lady over there…and that weird kid from the bus. Special does not endow us with privileged for riches, ease, and comfort.

Life can be hard.
And beautiful.
At the same time.

My relationship with God doesn’t change that life is hard. Instead the relationship makes it meaningful…and confusing…and meaningful…and…you get it right?

I’m not for sale. God is not for sale. This relationship is not for sale.

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