Just ask and it will be given

Published 12:00 am Saturday, September 7, 2013

I typically receive permission from my children before writing about them. Today is no exception. Elise is full of surprises and her immediate approval of this column shocked me.
The Michel’s Summer of 2013 held highs and lows, beginnings and endings and a spontaneous mattress purchase. Elise was in the middle of a stressful summer school class when I asked if she wanted to go furniture shopping for Victoria.
She began talking as soon as we picked her up. “Victoria’s getting new furniture for college, and I’m sleeping on an old mattress. I’ve never had a new mattress.”
“Elise, you’ve had new mattresses,” I said, quickly chronicling her mattress and bedroom furniture history.
“Well, I don’t remember any of that. Anyway, I read that old mattresses can have dust mites. You know I’m allergic to dust mites. I woke up with a headache this morning, probably because my mattress has dust mites.”
“Did you take your allergy medicine?”
“I don’t like to take it.”
I continued to drive the thankfully short distance to the furniture store. As soon as we were greeted by the sales force, I asked to see the mattresses. “Which of these can be delivered  tomorrow afternoon?”
A few keystrokes of his computer later, the salesman responded, “I have both of these in stock.”
“Elise, which one is more comfortable?”
“I can’t sit on a mattress in public.”
“I’ll take this one,” I said pointing to a pillow-topped model while turning to Elise. “After class tomorrow you will sit in your condo and wait until it’s delivered.”
I quickly found Victoria, “Do you see anything you like?”
“I’m afraid to buy something with Elise here.”
Returning to the car, I had one more thing to say, “Elise, in the future, would you please phrase all requests in the form of a question. It would take less time and emotional energy, yet produce the same result.”
And like so many other times in my life, the experience had a dual purpose. I can wish and hope and whine and complain. Or I can pray and simply ask God to release the answers I seek. From now on, reading Matthew 7:7, “Ask and it will be given to you,” will remind of Elise.
Now she needs a dresser. I’ll just order the same type I bought for Victoria. Elise will just love that!
Ronny may be reached at rmichel@rtconline.com.