New highs and new lows were explored at work today; mostly lows. But I had an epiphany on the way home tonight that I think merits sharing. (Gotta love those back road drives to unwind.) But first a little background . . .
Well, for detailed background you probably should start with “Dear God, I’m Tired of Growing”, but I’ll fill you in from there . . .
We’ve started up with a home group to begin a series of studies entitled “40 days of love”. It’s a study on how to build or improve relationships using the biblical principles of love: You know, “Love the Lord with all your Mind, Soul, Heart and Strength . . . and love your neighbor as yourself”, the teachings of Paul in Corinthians, and so on. Well, at the end of each get together, we’re going to be given an informal “homework” assignment to help us establish or build on relationships with the people around us. This week we were asked to pray to God to help us show love to those people we come in contact with on a daily basis. So that’s what I’ve been doing.
Those of you who’ve spent any time reading this blog already know where I’m heading with this . . .
Yup, I had one of those days.
Not only one of those days, I had possibly the worst day of work I’ve had in a very, very long time. It made the days leading up to “Dear God, I’m Tired of Growing” look like a cake walk.
At one point, I had to stop right in the middle of work and post a quick Twitter text (kind of a prayer-chain hotline):
In a crappy-ass mood @ work. So sick & tired of it. Lord, move or move me!
All night I was thinking, “Why do I do this to myself? I should know better than to pray something like that.”
What is it about those types of prayers that lead into those types of days? I’ve touched on this before with, “Whatever You Do, Don’t Pray for Patience” and I got to thinking about the whole, “God doesn’t grant you patience, He grants you opportunities to practice patience” adage.
I’m not so sure it’s Him at all.
You see; what if it’s not God giving us opportunities to practice patience? What if, instead, it’s the enemy seizing an opportunity to undermine our confidence and faith, not to mention any prospect to be an “accurate reflection of Jesus” to the world? Look at it this way: Not only does he get us into a season of doubt; he also uses our frustration and anger in ways that, to those people around you who look to you as a “Christian” example, would make them go, “Is that what Jesus looks like? No thanks.”
Trust me, I know. I wouldn’t want to be like me during these times, why would anyone else who has to be around me?
So here’s where I’m at . . .
Alright Devil; you wanna dance? Let’s dance! (I have the biggest urge to let my inner Samuel L. Jackson come out . . . anyone who’s seen “Snakes on a Plane” knows what I’m talking about!) ‘Cuz I’m gonna be praying it again tonight. And tomorrow. And the day after.
I have a hard time believing my job could get much worse, but hey, bring it on! I don’t think it will. I think that would be too noticeable and the enemy is more about stealth and subtleties. I also don’t think it will get better anytime soon. That too would prove me right and why would he give me the satisfaction.
Of course one may ask why God would let any of this happen in the first place.
Three reasons I think . . .
First, because this is the world we’ve created and we need to learn to navigate it. It’s about free will; about the choices we make. We can give in to the emotion and frustration of the moment and severe any chance to truly show love, now or in the future depending on the person you act out on; or we can continually choose to listen to that voice of strength and reason within us; placed there for the very reason to help us through circumstances just like this (pick a Psalm, any Psalm. David knew a thing or two about these situations).
Second, at least in my own case, things will eventually get better, and afterwards I’ll have a more thorough understanding of the “what’s” and “why’s” so that maybe I can help someone else chart these waters in the future. This would not only be a chance to show love, but empathy and understanding as well.
Third, because when I do get through this, it won’t be because of any of my own doing. I’m fully aware that I have no control of the surroundings of my life at the moment. Any success will come only through the grace and timing of God and so to Him will go all the glory: In His own timing, as it should be.
I know I can’t do this. That was abundantly clear weeks ago during, “Dear God, I’m Tired of Growing”. But, at least now I’m beginning to gain an understanding of why and, at least for tonight, it’s helping to ease the frustration and helplessness. I’m actually kind of jacked; I’m ready for a fight!
I’m a-gonna go pray now . . .