Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Me and my big mouth... or, maybe not

Today, one of the books I'm reading brought up a subject that has always really gotten to me. A subject that I have studied over and over trying to wrap my brain around and understand... Moses not being allowed to enter the Promised Land. 


It seems no matter what way it's explained or how deeply I delve into the scriptures, I just still feel bad for Moses. He poured his heart and soul into serving God. He gave all of his life only to make one mistake and face such a severe consequence. No re-do's, no apology, no fixing it. Forty years on a journey and he would not be allowed to reach the final destination. However, as the author of the book I'm currently reading pointed out, Moses took it like a champ. He didn't cry or complain or beg or plead. He was fine with it and just accepted it as the way it was and respected God's decision. And, while he wasn't able to enter the Promised Land, God did still grant him the greatest desire of his heart. 


I stopped reading to take it all in. It was nice to see another side that the Promised Land wasn't really Moses's heart's desire but I still wasn't able to fully fathom it. So, I asked God for help. I asked Him to help me understand, to help me see through Moses's perspective. 


Then, the answer came... 


This evening I drove into cell phone range to check all of the messages on the AID line. It's quite common for us to get nasty messages and they've never really bothered me, I just see them as opportunities to show love to a hurting person which is why I've always been the one to take the calls. However, tonight, the lady's voice and tone and attitude were too much. She apparently called the day before and was very upset that we did not get back with her quickly enough. If someone gets my emotions going, I'll normally wait until they subside and I feel loving again before I will contact them; but, her voice made me feel so pressured and I didn't want to upset her any more. After all, she was already clearly angry that I was taking too long so I couldn't take even longer, then she'd be really mad and what kind of Christian testimony would that be? So, I forced myself to call her back and told myself everything appropriate to say before she answered. Then, she answered and it was a whole different story. 


I tried to repeat what I had rehearsed. I simply explained that we are 100% ran by volunteers and so we can only guarantee to be open on Sundays from 2-4 but do our best to meet people during other times and we will pick items up when we can. However, while the words were coming out of my mouth, I realized that my fear of calling her back when I wasn't feeling it was causing my tone to not come across very well either. She then told me where she lived in one word and I wasn't familiar with the word so I asked, "Is that in Martins Ferry?" To which she replied, "(nasty sound effect) You aren't from Ferry?" And that was the end of the pre-rehearsed script. 


The thoughts in my head just started coming out... "No, I'm not from Ferry, but I am from the valley. But why should that matter? Even if I were from Ferry does that mean that I should know the name of every street? I really don't get where your attitude is coming from and why you were felt that it was appropriate to speak to us the way you did on the message when you called us back. We give up our lives and time with our families and do the best we can to make a difference only to be treated like this and talked down to because we can't always keep up with the demand." 


She replied quite snottily, "Well, I didn't know that you were ran by volunteers. I didn't know anything about you. I just got your number off of the building." 


I tried to calm myself down and be understanding but it just wasn't happening. Inside I was thinking that if she didn't know anything about us then she wouldn't have even known to get our name off of the building or that we take donations and my mouth started moving, "Well, I don't see why that would matter but I guess those are things you should ask before you pull out your attitude then if they make a difference to you."


She had an astonished tone at this point that I would dare say something and quite frankly so did I. I think I was asking myself the things she was probably wanting to ask me! But instead, she just said that she would just take her items elsewhere to which I had to end with a bang, "Please do because I'd rather not take them if it means also having to receive your attitude." 


I hung up completely shocked at myself and disgusted with myself! Why did I let this woman get me so upset? Was I just completely burnt out? Had I reached my end? Should I just take some time off and focus on my family and friends and stop pouring so much of myself into others who treat me as if they pay my invisible salary? 


As I was racking my brain, the million dollar question came to mind... Was God going to punish me as He did Moses? After all, I knew better just as Moses did. I should have been able to control my attitude! Was this my version of striking the rock that I should have been speaking to? Was it this going to be the end of AID? Suddenly, it hit me why God had allowed this situation to occur. Well, truthfully, there were a few reasons for me and probably for her as well; but, the main reason was because I asked for it! 


And, my response to the question... I'm ok with that. If it all ends right here right now because of my mistake, I'm ok with that. I do the best I can and if it's not enough then it's not. If I'm not usable then I'm not. I did know better and I'm sorry that I failed God, but I did. And, if it all ends today then I'll just spend more time enjoying my family and less time being screamed at. It would be kind of nice to not have so much responsibility on my shoulders all the time and people lumping pressure on me. It would definitely be nice and peaceful to just live a quiet, ordinary, mundane life. It could perhaps even be a blessing in itself! Perhaps, Moses never wanted to lead the Israelites. Perhaps he never even cared about the Promised Land from the start. After all, we do know that in Exodus 4:13 he begged God to send someone else and pardon him. And, the fact that he called himself a "servant" tells me that he was going to do it if he had to and that's the only reason he would. That his only goal was to follow and obey God wherever it took him whether that was to the Promised Land or not. Perhaps he'd been waiting 40 years to be set free and have some time to himself and what seems to be a punishment is actually an answered prayer. After all, God's Word is always true and it says in Palm 37:4 that if we delight ourselves in the Lord that He WILL give us the desires of our heart. It's quite clear that Moses delighted himself in the Lord and if that was truly the desire of his heart then it would have been granted to him. God knew Moses long before He chose him which means that He knew he would strike that rock! 


Or perhaps, he knew he'd still eventually ended up there anyways... In Matthew 17:3, many years after his death, Moses appeared with Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration which was the physical location of the Promised Land! 











No comments:

Post a Comment