“It is not a mistake to have strong views. The mistake is to have nothing else.” – David Morrow & Anthony Weston, Workbook for Arguments: A Complete Course in Critical Thinking
Enough. Please stop it. I don’t believe what you believe. I disagree with you.
I am neither -phobic, anti-, -in, un-, or dis- or any other prefix or suffix that is convenient to make one feel better about being disagreed with.
But guess what? I can also love and care for you deeply. I can be wholeheartedly concerned about you and what hurts or harms you.
…….And that’s even more fun.
I just have a couple thoughts:
There are Christian women who no longer believe in marriage. That annoys me to no end. They’ve allowed what they see and the ignorance that is rampant even in our community to turn them from the ONE thing they should never give up on. And there’s a difference between believing you are called to a life of singleness and not believing in marriage. One has faith attached, the other fear.
Let me add some caveats before I start: I am fully woman…have been all my life. I am fully single…with no romantic prospects on the horizon. I am NOT a virgin…but there are days I wish I was. I have skated on the verge of engagement a couple times…but never secured the actual commitment.
I’ve found that two dichotomous things are usually at work: 1. even if you don’t recognize them, there ARE men (emphasis on MEN) who are not only good for your body, but for your spirit and soul. These are the cats that will not just wait for you, but they’ll be waiting period. And when he finds you, he’ll know what it is because he’s already been to God, Jesus, AND the Holy Spirit about it; and 2) JUST because you have concentrated on his waiting, doesn’t mean that HE has. If all you’re doing is focusing on what he’s doing, you’ve already lost. Because sure, he might not be pressuring you about it, but he just might not be “waiting” for you either. There are many other women who will serve his declared needs and never think a thing about it. It doesn’t mean he loves you or even remotely cares. Some cats are simply serpent enough to give you what you want until you give them what they want.
The last several days have been sheer HELL in abundance…and in talking to a good friend of mine, it wasn’t just that way for me alone. Sometimes you just need that voice that confirms what you know and puts everything back into perspective…and he happen to call right when I needed that kick in the pants (I think if he had come off like one of Job’s wretched friends though, I woulda had to punch him in the arm!!)
So even though over the last few days I really couldn’t have cared less about what debate Job and Bildad or Eliphaz got into next, it makes perfect sense that I’d be in the late chapters of the book of Job right now. They’re all speaking what I need to hear.
Job came out the gate speaking for me in chapter 29. I’m broken and I’m not strong. I’m anxious all day and hardly sleep at night. I feel gut-checked and punched in the jaw and I don’t know what to do. I wish I could go backward to when I was stable – (29:1-5)when I could hear Him and I thought he heard me. I cried out – He said keep movin. I moved – He’s either saying stay still (Exodus 14: 13-14) or nothing at all (Job 30:16-22). I wasn’t expecting THIS by any stretch of the imagination (30:18, 26)…but then I had to stop and remember that I ain’t the Professor so I can’t design the test. Funny though, like Job, I knew what questions would be on it and I even know for sure what some of the answers are…but it still ain’t really helping me see clearly right now.
In chapter 31…Job’s taking inventory – checking his friends while he’s checking himself! He ran through every possible sin he could have committed and declared that if he’d done any of them then he deserved to be taken down. He even takes it to the Word!! Verse 33 he contrasts his forthrightness with Adam and how he tried to hide from God. Job said “I ain’t doin it!!! I’m not ducking from God NOR man!!” I guess if we wanna hear it that way it could sound arrogant…but all I keep hearing from this man is “I know I ain’t perfect but I don’t get THIS!!”
The start of chapter 32 is interestingly weird. Elihu tight with everybody and pretty much for the same reason – he thinks they’re all a little too full of themselves: Job thinks he’s right against God and his friends think they’re right against Job. My question is just where did this guy come from?? If he heard all four of them – how long had he been there with no introduction?!?! This is going a little left and I haven’t looked deeply into it (yeah…I’ve got like three commentaries in front of me but that would mean verb parcing and such – I don’t wanna right now.) but there might just be some interesting wordplay here – and if so, it’s pretty funny! Elihu (or God is he) is a Buzite…Job has used the word ‘buz’ (contempt, put to shame, despise) a few times to describe how he’s been treated. So not even looking forward to the end of the story, but isn’t it ironic right now that Elihu is about to step in with what we can only assume is a word against the whole set of them to “put them to shame”.
Regardless…those are all just passing ideas – more wondering in the midst of everything. Because all I do know is that the new dude, Elihu, is introducing a shift – there’s something different about the turn everything is taking now, and we’ll just have to see where he’s gonna go with it.
The question, then, “Doth Job fear God for nought?”…compelling all to look to the foundation and motives of their faith…[i]t is, we may say, the first note of a piercing strain which thrills on to the present time.
…To grant that happiness is in any sense the distinctive issue of faith and faithfulness, to keep happiness in view in submitting to the restraints and bearing the burdens of religion, is to build the highest and best on the shifting sand of personal taste and craving. Make happiness that for which the believer is to endure and strive, allow the sense of personal comfort and immunity from change to enter into his picture of the reward he may expect, and the question returns, Doth this man serve God for nought? Life is not happiness, and the gift of God is everlasting life. Only when we keep to this supreme word in the teaching of Christ, and seek the fullness and liberty and purity of life, apart from that happiness which is at bottom the satisfaction of predominant desires, shall we escape from the constantly recurring doubt that threatens to undermine and destroy our faith…
The favourite aim of social meliorists is to secure happiness for all…their dream is to make the warfare and service of man upon the earth so easy that he shall have no need for earnest personal endeavour. He is to serve for happiness…The pity bestowed on those who toil and endure…is that they fail of happiness. Persons who have no conception that vigour and endurance are spiritually profitable, and others who once knew but have forgotten the benefits of vigour and the gains of endurance, would undo the very order and discipline of God.
…If God is good for this reason, what follows when He appoints pain, especially pain that brings no enjoyment [happiness] in the long run?
Watson, Robert A.”The Opening Scene in Heaven.” and “The Shadow of God’s Hand.” The Book of Job – The Expositor’s Bible. pp 44-46, 53
I can’t seem to turn my “focus” switch on today. I’ve picked out the books I need to read and the workbook and homework I wanted to plow through because I’m sitting in a Modern Hebrew class tonight; laid my pen and pencil next to my journal notebook, sat at my desk…….and started looking out the window.
It’s so strange today because it’s not distraction. I know when I have so much on my mind that I’m all over the place but never in the place I should be. That’s not it. Today I’m ready, willing, and able to “get ‘er done”…I just haven’t yet, and short of going back to bed and starting over, this was my only other outlet to try and break through.
I guess this is cathartic because I’ve opened the same book and read the same 4 and a quarter pages of said book like twice since I’ve started writing this, which is a far cry from where I was 3 hours ago.
All I know is that this gotta pass.
**the Book of Esther, chapters 7 and 8**
It just got REAL!!!!!
Esther is so dope to me. She didn’t stop in the middle of the party to pull the king aside and remind him that they had something to talk about. She let him come to her again. That just struck me as awesome. I know I can force situations because I don’t trust that the people in them are gonna be true to their word; or I create scenarios in my head of how something COULD happen. Like being shook at how God’s perfect will is gonna play out – it’s just how sneaky arrogance is – I won’t pray his perfect will be done because I think I already KNOW how a situation MIGHT turn out!!! How insane is that thought process?!?!? Unlike Esther, I’m so afraid of however I see the outcome, that I try to force the outcome.
Now, someone could look at it as Esther just stalling because she was shook (*insert neck rolls* “why she ain’t just tell him…how she gone keep having banquets for him?!?!” *insert more neck rolls*). But I think she was simply connected and patient. Especially after how she responded to the king. She made sure never to BLAME him or even hint that it was his fault – even though I’m sure she knew that the only way a law like that could have made the books is if HE allowed it. She wasn’t all up in her feelings about her husband being part of the issue because 1) she was very clear on who he was, and 2) she was very clear on the REAL issue. It’s like the chicks who always wanna fight the other woman but NEVER address their “man”. They let their little hurt feelings distract them from the real problem and the real culprit. Esther’s response had none of that. She even went so far as to affirm his trust in her. She turned it back to him basically saying that ‘had the issue only hurt me and not you, I wouldn’t even have bothered you. But since THIS plan will really cause YOU problems, I had to tell you.‘ And on top of feeding his ego a nice porterhouse, she was saying too that “Boo, you KNOW I ain’t no drama-queen or nag. You know I would have stayed in my chambers if it wasn’t that deep.” But a woman GOTTA KNOW IN HER HEART that she really ain’t that drama-queen or nag in order to stand like that. Verse 7 (chapter 7) had me in stitches! The king was so mad he had to excuse himself; and I can see him out there kicking over statues and flipping over benches talking about “Ain’t dis some *\#^%$&@!!!! Dis supposed to be my DUDE and he trying to off what’s MINE?!?!? Ohh HELLLLL NAW….NOT TODAY!!!!!” Then he comes back in to see this idiot all up on his wife?! At that point I’m sure the king ain’t really care that he was begging for his life — because he SHOULDA BEEN!!!
I’m trying to figure out how the dude Harbona knew so much about Haman’s plan….UNLESS he was one of those “friends” that Esther 5:12 was talking about!! You better be real careful about being a snake because you won’t see who around you might have snake tendencies. Cause this cat was QUICK to throw Haman under the bus, rather in the noose. But if he, Harbona, was one of the kings eunuchs, and Mordecai dropped dime on two OTHER eunuchs, would he have NOT known about how the king felt about Mordecai saving his life?!?! Or maybe he was one of the people from Esther 6:13 who was trying to warn him, Haman, to fall back from being in his feelings about Mordecai in the first place. So by Esther 7:9, he was like “Hey, we tried!! HANG HIM!”
Last thing is that it seems to me that when king realized that he made a bad call, he coulda saved himself and Vashti lot of heartbreak if he had just stopped and said “Yo…this was stupid! Go get my signet ring so I can get my queen back!” He was KING for cryin’ out loud – he could have done whatever he wanted, the same way he flipped the decree in Esther 8:8. But then too, HE was the one who was all nostalgic in the Vashti situation. In order to fix that, he would have had to fall on his own sword. This most recent situation was “technically” Haman’s fault so he got a BOGO: make a complete example of him AND make his words mean nothing. Beware of people who go hard to “hang you” and make YOUR wrongs right, but won’t fix the stuff they single-handedly shattered into pieces.
My Jesus crew is studying the Word book by book. A lot of times it’s called “The Bible in a Year”, but because we’re looking to really dig in and not just read, we’ll probably be working through it til 2016 (which is just fine by me)!
Anyhoo, since I do it everyday anyway – I’m gonna drop off the things that I got from what we went through that day, a “review” of the information, if you will. It’ll help me stop being lazy and hopefully you’ll enjoy some of the breakdown. Win-win.
For more semantic minded people, you’ll notice that the title of this is ‘In “REVUE”‘…and that’s more the feel that I usually have. It won’t be overly technical and I try not to be too satirical (although sometimes the topic just BEGS for it!! It’s just too easy!!) or cynical (which is simply my own personality issue!).
We’re in the Old Testament and are up to Esther, so next stop: Esther 7 & 8.