We’re now halfway through; I hope you are enjoying reading and sticking with me despite the odd posting times! Short post today.
My kind of crazy
I heard a speaker last year who poignantly noted: “Right now, in this moment, is the slowest, and least complicated, your life will ever be.” It sounds pithy if you don’t mull it over, but it is incredibly accurate and scary if you let it sink in. If you feel overwhelmed now, two years from now will be vastly more so. If you feel unprepared now, in 8 years you’re going to feel incompetent. If you’re finding yourself without time now, this time next year you’ll have even less. We all tend to do things with the end in mind; maybe not a clear picture of when it stops or slows down, but a definite impression that there is a time on the other side of all this toil and complication. But that isn’t true. Even in retirement you will face faster advancement, more complicated rules of engagement for life. The easier technology gets the more of it there is and the more we do with it.
This fast pace has led us to a constant state of feeling rushed, of feeling vividly every second we are spending. We are more acutely aware of time than probably any generation before us; it is so very precious to us, and we get so annoyed when we feel someone is wasting it. That leads beautifully into the third quality listed in 1 Corinthians 13:5…
God is not irritable
The King James says “is not easily provoked” and the Aramaic says “is not provoked”. Of the three I like “is not irritable” the best because it’s what we more easily and commonly feel. The Greek word παροξύνω, paroxyno, has the roots para (from, near, or around) and oxys (sharp, curt, or swift), so the word actually translates “to act from curtness”. The meaning is that you act from a place of feeling rushed or out of time. And isn’t that when we feel irritation the most? When we feel hurried and overwhelmed and unprepared?
We have already shown that God is patient, but patience doesn’t necessarily preclude irritability. Irritability is not about what you do, it’s about what you’re feeling as you do it, so you can sit around calmly all day long but be irritated as heck. I know, because it happens to me. All. The. Time. Some days, and today was one of them, I spend the majority of my day thinking to myself “what the h*** is wrong with you?” about everyone. It’s the morning you drop your phone and smack your head into the counter picking it up. It’s the day you lock your keys in your car or get all the way to work and realize you left your ID badge on the kitchen counter. Then you get to work and suddenly no one is capable of doing their job and you have to clean it all up. It’s the day where literally nothing goes according to your desires, you are constantly playing cath-up, and you spend the entire day wanting to scream because everything and everyone is just against you.
God doesn’t feel that. He never has a rough day at the office. Part of that is because He knows what happens and it’s all in His plan, but part of it is that He doesn’t ever need to feel curt or rushed because a) He exists outside of time’s constraints, and b) He knows we are all eternal so there is just no need to get in a tizzy. He is not slave to a perception of time, so He is free to just let things be. I just flat fail when I try to emulate that.
Won’t you be my neighbor?
This irritable nature we feel is a large component of the isolationist melancholy I discussed yesterday. We don’t like being irritated and everyone gets irritating, so you largely just want to be left alone. God doesn’t have that. He isn’t on the edge, eyeballing us hatefully as we, yet again, screw up in fantastic proportions. No, He is there beside us, holding on tight in Love, and asking us to just trust Him. We’re not annoying Him with your prayer, we’re not pressing Him into a rush to fix it when we make a mistake. I think we have real trouble wrapping our minds around the concept because we have never had a relationship where the other party didn’t annoy us at least some of the time. So you may need to repeat “God is not irritable” a few hundred times (I’m so still working on it) before you can start trusting it, but if you can really wrap your mind around it the freedom we can get from it is incredible.
Going to end it here today because tomorrow’s topic is large and will pick this thread up quite perfectly…