I’ve noticed that the more I become suspicious of God the more I tend to become a hustler. By that I mean I become more aggressive in doing whatever it takes to get God and everyone else to give me what I want out of life. I become a lot like Jacob the hustling father of Israel.
God promised to prosper Jacob, but at birth he was given the name Jacob which literally meant “heel catcher” or what we might call “huckster or hustler.” This name fit Jacob as he spent all of his early life trying to hustle prosperity out of His father, His step-father, and even God Himself. The great irony of Jacob’s life was the fact that he spent a ton of energy trying to hustle the life God had already promised to give him. And what’s even more ironic – the more he hustled, the more the life he wanted slipped out of his grasp. Why did Jacob keep on trying to hustle the life he wanted even when it wasn’t really working for him? I think it’s because he was too proud to let a blessing be given to him as a gift, and he was afraid that receiving a gift he hadn’t earned would leave him far too vulnerable to the gift giver.
I don’t know about you, but I know I can be a lot like Jacob. I tend to believe there are two groups of people in this world: those who have it made, and those who will have to make it happen. Sadly I’m the kind of person who easily stumbles into thinking, “I’ll have to make the life I want become a reality for my own self!” When I follow this line of thinking, I go out and act like Jacob trying to hustle everyone, including God. But the truth is, the more I insist on hustling a good life, the more I prevent myself from actually having one.
When I’m in my right mind I know the best stuff in life cannot be earned or hustled. I know the best stuff in life comes my way as a gift – a gift I can either accept because it’s what I know we desperately need, or reject because I’m too proud and too afraid that in accepting the gift I would be left exposed and vulnerable to the gift giver. In the end, I kinda think God would love it if we set aside our suspicions, and stopped our futile attempts to hustle the life He’s already wiling to give us.