It’s unavoidable – unpleasant things happen. The person ahead of you in line at Panera takes the last cinnamon crunch bagel. You spill that perfect cup of coffee all over your desk. It rains the day you wore your leaky shoes. You forget to get gas the night before and the necessary stop makes you run late in the morning. All pretty minor stuff, but depending on our response, they can certainly shape our attitude.
Or maybe it’s something bigger…something more serious. Someone dies unexpectedly. A job is lost. A loved one is given a harsh diagnosis. We’re left in sadness and confusion, crying out, Where are you, God? because our minds simply aren’t able to reason it out…no matter how many moments or hours we spend trying.
“Beloved, we are learning to live in the paradox of God – to know that He is consistent, but He is also unpredictable.” -Graham Cooke
It reminds me of Job. It’s a difficult book to read, but not just because a lot of crappy stuff happens to him. I think it’s difficult because it contains chapter after chapter of Job and his buddies trying to figure out what’s happening and why…using only their own reasoning. The trouble is, they don’t have the knowledge or the insight to come to a proper conclusion. So they come to improper conclusions, choosing to believe a lie rather than seeking out the Source of all truth.
How many times have I done that?
It seems a paradigm shift is in order. The next time one of these tough scenarios presents itself, choose to respond intentionally. The truth of the matter is we are not in charge of this world. In and of ourselves, we cannot always know what to do or how to do it. But we know someone who does and we can choose to consult with him. The truth is that while God’s character is unchanging, his thoughts are far from predictable. So instead of asking Where are you, God? from a position of desperation and poverty, ask from a position of sonship. Father…Papa…where are you in this situation? What is your plan? How are you moving? Then listen and act accordingly.
Once again, less clarity…more trust.
Unless, of course, the challenging situation is somebody taking the last of the cake batter ice cream. In that scenario, all bets are off.
*This lesson brought to you (and me!) courtesy of today’s staff training and the fabulous Deanne Moore.