2003. I lost my wallet. I was in a hurry. I prayed.

Immediately an image of the inside of the washing machine came to my mind. I went to the laundry room, opened up the washer, and there it was. All three dollars, Wendy’s receipts, and a now-faded student ID card and driver’s license still inside.

I normally don’t pray for things like that but in a moment of anxiety I asked God to rescue me. I’m not sure if God had anything to do with finding my wallet. Actually, I don’t believe God (or any parent, for that matter) should be rescuing me or anyone else from anxiety, confusion, or ambiguity. Providing support is nice, but the God I believe in is more Love & Logic than Lawnmower or Laissez-Faire.

Still, I was grateful to have found my wallet.

Tim Tebow believes that God helps him with football. SNL told me so.

Last night during a Jazz game, point guard Devin Harris had a “lucky bounce” (a God bounce?) as a 3-pointer hit the rim and then dropped in. Harris pointed to Heaven. After the game he said his shot was short, but the “Man upstairs” caused it to go in.

What is the function of beliefs like this? What do they serve?

It seems to me that believing God will rescue you from discomfort probably has more to do with wanting God to make you feel better than to build your character. I’m wondering about some perspectives other than my own, however (I know, gasp!). How might a belief in the God of the Lost Keys influence one’s life, for better or for worse?

Next time, more on Lawnmower God…