01 September 2006
Does something ever happen within your life experience that catches you completely off guard such that u don't even know how to respond? i'm not talking random weird things. I'm recalling a family vacation in bend, oregon where a few of us went horseback riding along the river, with a trained guide, and were ambushed by a "flasher" waiting to reveal all from his perch on the cliff above the river bank. There's no "right response" to something so shockingly sick and wrong. And I'm not talking about when a person cuts you off in traffic or that sweet looking lil ole lady "steals" your this-must-be-meant-for-me-close-to-the-door parking spot.
I'm talking about the "wow! i didn't see this coming" type of occurence where you react in emotion and not reason. That's the "right" response thing I'm thinking about. It's that sense that as a Christ follower, and an image bearer of Christ, I should react in a certain way. But what spills out, or at very least fills your mind, is something altogether not righteous, and as far from 'turn the other cheek' as you can imagine.
Yeah, me neither. i have no idea what i'm talking about. clearly that never happens in this life.
but, for the sake of humoring me (it's my blog after all), let's say it does happen. let's say we don't respond rightly. how do we overcome that? or is it really okay to show honest emotion? i guess what i'm wondering in my rather obtuse, likely too ambiguous way is whether it's truly okay to vent, or to complain, or to be angry about a situation or circumstance? I ask in part b/c i look at some of the writing of a guy I respect named Paul and he plainly and firmly says, "don't let any unwholesome talk come out of our mouths but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs that it may benefit those who listen." So, in the category of being not only hearers of the word, but doers of the word, how do we live that out??
Perhaps my problem is that I want the "right" or correct response. And God's been reminding me pretty consistently that it's really okay to "give up the right to be right" and to trust Him for the whole surrender piece. Or perhaps it's just that I don't really want to be fully obedient to the word? Or it's a matter of not trusting God enough? I might not have the proper diagnosis. I know this, though, it's a journey. And i'm leaning into some other words Paul said, 'He who began a good work in me will carry it out to completion in the day of Christ Jesus." Ah. There's some hope and some grace. Hallelujah.