No matter how hard I try sometimes, the words I pick seem so often to be the wrong ones. The single parent life, being father/mother gives us plenty of opportunities to be humbled. If you ever thought you might be a bad parent, yeah, the single parent life will remove all doubt: you not only confirm your fears you might be a bad parent, you get to confirm it multiple times a day!
You try to say the right thing and it comes out wrong. You want to be encouraging but you are tired and the tone of your voice betrays the irritation inside. You don't pick up the right item at the store or you forget to wash an item of clothing the "right way" and suddenly you have..."RUINED MY LIFE!!!," so says your teenager.
You know what? I kinda feel the same way with God sometimes. I mean, it is not hard to look at things in our lives and world and say to God, "Seriously? Did you just let that happen?!" Oh, I know God is sovereign over all and I believe God is all-knowing but there are moments, where we release our inner two-year-old and stomp our feet and scream, "It is not fair!"
No. It is not. I get so tired of the theological prancing around of this issue. Somethings in life are simply not fair. Just because bad things happen or people act like scum of the earth, it does not necessarily mean God intended it. But you know what? I am also tired of the idea God does not care or we cannot depend on God to be present in our time of need.
Just because people's actions smell like a porta-potty in 100-degree temperatures in Atlanta in July, why throw God out the window? I mean, really, sometimes we need to look in the mirror and consider, "How many times have I DESERVED to be thrown out the window?" Ugh. Yeah, sure, some of the worst things in the world are done in the proverbial "name of religion" but it does not mean God did or God endorsed it. We make choices. You make them. I make them.
When it comes to facing this issue of God in our messy lives, I always found one particular description of the Bible to be helpful. Think about it like a play:
Act 1: Genesis 1 & 2 describe God's plan for us and paradise.
Act 2: Genesis 3 puts the characters in crisis: the worst situation possible.
Act 3: The rest of the Bible till today: The resolution - redemption.
Oh sure, argue about why we're here, who is responsible, or whether it is fair. This doesn't change the reality we really just want to blame God or religion. You and I want a scapegoat. We want to do anything we can to not accept our responsibility for our own actions. I do not need to point the finger at Adam and Eve - I've made enough of a mess of things on my own. The evidence that I have a "diseased love" is all around me.
I need a change of perspective - a change of heart. I need to respond to the grace God has given. I like the way St. Hesyochios the Priest said it, "If you wish to be 'in the Lord,' do not just SEEM to be [Christian], and good, and gentle, and always one with God, decide to BE such a person in truth." He does not mean just be GOOD or that you can earn salvation by works. He also wrote, "...let the name of Jesus adhere to your breath..." meaning, call upon Jesus always for the ability to live the life of a Christian.
I need help. I need healing. I need to be saved. I need a savior.
No amount of kicking and screaming or temper tantrums will change your scenario. The same goes for me. No, it comes back around to the same thing we all need. We need Jesus.
Images used with permission: http://www.freeimages.com/photo/angry-sumo-1503055