N is for . . .

NEGOTIATE

Negotiating with God has many fine Biblical examples. Confronted by God, Adam blames Eve for his forbidden snack in a bid to cast blame elsewhere. Moses thought his brother Aaron a better choice to guide the escaping Israelites. Most of the prophets mentioned they preferred their safer, day jobs. Many of Paul’s letters, delivered over long distance by hand, include pleas or hopes or reminders of past agreements that were slow-motion negotiation. Didn’t Jesus negotiate at Gethsemane, when he asked for the cup to pass from him? He spoke metaphorically, but bargaining was an ingredient in the drink’s holy mix.

Humans negotiate. Doesn’t the Holy? The Bible reveals a God who can and will change. Still, I think of God as less a negotiator and more a Creator willing to wait a long time for humans to mature. In the Eden myth, with the closed gates guarded by flaming swords, and Adam and Eve trudging away, where does the story place God? With, not separate from, those foolish humans. Negotiating never seems as divinely important as companionship.

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