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What is it about nice people that attract total idiots?Nice people are martyrs. Idiots are evangelists.


Sunday, May 11, 2014

Sunday Message- because it produces patience...

Let's be honest here- when it comes to the "falling into various trials", I am a lightweight.  I have all my body parts, I have the best job I ever had, the companionship of a good woman and good dog, a decent home, a car that isn't raiding the piggy bank with every trip.  If I have some dread disease, I don't know about it, and not counting wisdom teeth, I've only lost one so far.  So trials for me are at this point a relative thing, and I might say that the ones that I have are all in my head.  Still, I can learn from them.

For example, right now, we have a lot of OT.  I've worked many Saturdays lately, most of them nooners.  I don't care for them, as they usually mean I have zero outside stimulation as I am the only one working on my side of the building, and the radio stations I can get inside the building give me the two choices of a home and garden show or Led Zep, Pink Floyd, and AC/DC at least twice no matter how much time I listen.  But as trials go, not a big thing; and if I complain, God merely smiles and says, "Six days shall you work..."

My problem, my trial, is actually my reaction to it.  I have a self destructive tendency to "chew the bone" over it, grousing and mumbling until I explode, or end up in tears trying not to.  In other words, I do not hate Saturday work near so much as I hate myself for getting upset by it.  Keep reading, it gets better.

This week, it definitely wasn't so much the Saturday, as I was prepared for it since Wednesday.  And I had managed to get through a plethora of idiot irritations to get to it.  One day ended with me wanting to squeeze one last item out of my machine, but the server for the entire company went down and I ended up with a final 15 minutes of sweeping.  Thursday, I thought I'd do myself a favor at the end of the day and put a new blade on the machine.  I was still doing that Friday morning as we have a slight problem with a blade vendor who doesn't bother to quality-check their product.  One half hour after I got a working blade attached, the machine stopped dead.  A half hour later, a short was found right where I said it would be rather than the two other places they insisted on checking first.

So Friday afternoon came, and my boss came out in the last half-hour do give me the run-down on what needed done Saturday.

I looked it over and said, "This will be an all-day."
She said, "Definitely."

And away the process went.  It was like it had been in the back of my mind the whole time, waiting for an opening, and here it was.  So I start working on the stuff needed.  Immediately, here comes an item that someone felt HAD to be done first thing to prevent Armageddon- and I would have to switch racks to get the right color.  Then, the clamp that holds the rack in place stuck shut.  While that was being worked on, I secured the other rack as best I could, started the cutting, and the marker chalk broke off.  At this point, after a loud, "ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME???", I issued a curse to the customer buying this item that involved his boat and the bottom of a lake, looked up and said, "Whatever cosmic power thinks this is funny, hope you enjoyed it."

Okay, now, onto the point.

This morning, Dr Jeremiah focused on the first part of James 1:

Jas 1:2 My brothers, count it all joy when you fall into different kinds of temptations,
Jas 1:3 knowing that the trying of your faith works patience.
Jas 1:4 But let patience have its perfect work, so that you may be perfect and entire, lacking nothing.
Yes, God pulled out the ol' "Count it all joy" on me.  But before I could say, "Where am I supposed to find the joy in this stuff?", he went on to explain a couple of vitally important parts I'd been missing.  First, the "count it all" part.  He said that when you dissect the original Greek wording here, you get something very much like, "Fast-forward to".  God's not asking us to look at a poop sandwich as if it is a cheeseburger;  He's telling us to remember what awaits on the other side of the trial.  Focus past the trial to the benefit derived there from.  "When this is all over, then..." is the point.  Even if you have to look ahead all the way to heaven.

A second thing he pulled out was that God is trying to "build the perfect beast" in us.  If He is working on a certain area, He's trying to prepare you for some job, some event, something coming up that will give Him glory.  And here's something I realized.  You know how the Bible teaches you will never be tempted beyond your ability to resist?  Well, I think you will also never be tested beyond what God needs to teach you the lesson He wants you to learn.  So I guess I must be a better listener than I thought... or else, maybe feeding five thousand isn't in His plans for me.

Finally, he brought up that "patience" isn't "Lay back and just take whatever happens".  Patience needs to be active.  It needs to be a teaching moment, a growing moment, a building-of-faith moment.

On my work desk, as I've mentioned, I have two things taped.  One is from Romans 8:20-"Creation is subjected to futility".  The Holy equivalent to "s#!t happens."  The other is for when the class envy of "wasting my weekends building luxuries for people who'd never share with me" comes around- it says simply, "Paul made tents."  I think Monday a third message will go alongside them. 

"Fast forward to joy."


  1. My wisdom teeth never came in. Hmmm.

    1. Mine came out in high school. Explains a lot.