I’ve been Bargaining with God

I’ve been bargaining with God but I’m not grieving. Nothing bad has happened to me. I have nothing to complain about. Do you ever do that? Do you ever ask God just to let everything stay exactly the way it is right now? Not because anything particularly great is happening in your life, but because you’re afraid that if one tiny aspect of your life shifts, even by a millimeter, the whole structure might collapse.

Against my will, at times, my brain goes to places I don’t like, especially when it’s dark and quiet, when I’m trying to fall asleep. I imagine what it would be like to live in a world without my mom, my dad, my sister, my best friend, anyone I love. I think about the excruciating pain of loss and what it must feel like to forcibly detach yourself from someone so essential. I think about it as though the idea of death were made up as a punishment just for me. Then I wonder how I let myself get so far in my train of thought.

But God and I have a running deal. If I behave, if I remain mindful of how immeasurably lucky I am to have my loved ones here on this Earth with me, God will prolong their stay. The more I thank God for the people I have in my life, the longer he’ll let me keep them; for every minute I pray that’s another hour they get to live.

I wonder if he holds it against me,
that I don’t know whether I believe in him.
I wonder if he’ll punish me for that.


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