Once there was a man who feared God. One day while in prayer he asked for money. A modest sum, nothing too extravagant. God answered, “No! That request does not begin to touch my love for you. Dream bigger!”
So the man prayed for double the sum, humbly assuring God that it wouldn’t change him. “Look into my heart,” he prayed, “don’t you see the good I can do for you if you just allow me these riches?” God answered, “No! That request does not begin to touch my love for you. Dream bigger!”
So the man tripled the sum, and asked for pleasures beyond imagination. God answered again, “No! That request does not begin to touch my love for you. Dream bigger!”
So the man multiplied the sum 100 fold, asked for pleasure and power over men. Again God answered, “No! That request does not begin to touch my love for you. Dream bigger!”
“Oh Lord, I have searched my heart and mind. I cannot wait for you to grant me my fortune. I must go off and make it for myself, and I will return here to you once I have found the joy of heart and peace of mind that comes with the treasure I seek.”
So off went the man who feared God, and a fortune he did make, but to gain his fortune he lost his integrity, his purity, and his virtue. Many were the pleasures he had, and his days were full, but his heart was empty, and his mind was wrecked with anxieties.
“Oh God, I have made my fortune but it held none of the happiness it promised! My sin is without number, my heart is restless, my mind disturbed, and my conscience is clamoring! I beg you take away my sin! God answered him, “Go! Your sins are forgiven!”
The man leaped with joy at his innocence regained. Gratitude filled his heart, and he spoke of God’s greatness and glory to all he met. But still his heart was restless, and his mind disturbed.
“Oh God,” he prayed, “take away my suffering.” God answered him, “No! That request does not begin to touch my love for you. Dream bigger!”
From there the man’s suffering grew stronger, his heart ached with a desire for God. His fear of God was reshaped into love for Him.
The man prayed again, “Let me be near you and feel the consolation of your presence!” “No!” God replied, “that request does not begin to touch my love for you. Dream bigger!”
“My Lord and my God, how dare I ask of you more than to be near you? The sinner I know myself to be does not allow me to petition you for what my heart truly desires, but in my desperation I beg of you, let me live and breath inside you! Let me move and dwell in your most intimate heart! Let me remain eternally fused with you, my heart to yours, and let all these other things be given me besides! And I pray this not only for me but that every man be granted this Union with you!”
The Lord was swift in answering, “Be still and know that I am God!”
So the man entered into deep prayer, where the Lord of all prepared him. Every day, hidden in his room, the man sat while God performed his work. Day by day the man’s heart grew softer, and his mind grew quieter. In faith, hope, and love the man grew, until the day came, where God said to him, “My Son! Enter into your Father’s Kingdom!”
“The multitude of your sacrifices—what are they to me?” says the Lord. “I have more than enough of burnt offerings, of rams and the fat of fattened animals; I have no pleasure in the blood of bulls and lambs and goats.”
“For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.”
“Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.”