You know better

22 10 2012

You know the persistent song-in-your-head phenomenon?  It’s not always a song you like, but it’s on loop. These two lines have been my loop this week :

“I’ve let go the need to know why,
For you know better than I.”

Are you with me in finding these hard lines to sing truthfully?  I always know better – don’t you?  It started young for me and  I can remember the vibes of frustration from my parents when I doggedly stuck to my point of view and refused to pay attention to theirs.  I knew better then; I know better now.

Then there’s the “why” question.  That starts young too, as anyone who’s ever met a three year old knows. And I have a theory that three year olds don’t really want an answer their “why” questions. And to be honest, we run out of steam and don’t want to give the answer.(Question: why do I need to wear a coat?  Answer: Because it’s cold outside. Q: Why? A: Because it’s winter. Q: Why? A: Because it is. Q: Why?… you know the scene.)

What does the child want with the asking?  It’s a way of maintaining engagement with the adult, drawing them into their world, seeking to build the relationship. But when I ask “why” of God, it’s often just the opposite. It’s a selfish  “why me?” question – sub-text “you don’t care, it’s not fair, I hate you.” It’s that kind of “why” that we need to let go of. And God? He wants to maintain the relationship. He is always good. He knows better than I.

So what about Joseph, King of Dreams?  The Bible narrative doesn’t let us inside his private world. Though the Dreamworks film gives him the song to sing, exploring faith and hope, it’s only a guess about what may have been going through his mind.  It’s not until Joseph reveals his identity to his brothers that we get a hint of his faith – “God sent me here” (Genesis 45:5-7).  That’s a confident faith statement to the family who had exiled him into slavery. It’s a big picture view that must have allowed Joseph hope in the dark times (“But maybe knowing
I don’t know is part of getting through”), and confidence of his being God’s man in Egypt.

Joseph’s faith results in status and prosperity and although there must have been the temptation to taunt his brothers with, “I told you so,” he has grown out of that cocky know it all attitude  into the man who is used by God to provide for his family and, in the broader scheme, to preserve the people of God.

Were the tough times worth it? I think Joseph would have sung a definite “Yes”. I’d like to learn to sing with him.





How could you do this to me?

15 10 2011

I love this story which Don Miller relates in his book To own a dragon.

‘Every evening around six, Terri would set dinner on the table, and the family would sit down to eat. And every night, almost without fail, the kids would start to whine. Unless it was chicken nuggets and French fries, there were going to be problems at dinner. One evening, Cassy, who was quite good at lobbying the family for what she wanted, lay down on the kitchen floor and rolled over in frustration about having to eat whatever it was Terri had prepared. John stood at the corner of the island in the kitchen and watched her, trying not to laugh. She twisted and turned and moaned and complained, but John stood silently, not letting her manipulate him. Finally, Cassy belted out the now famous line: “Dad, how could you do this to me?” John and I covered our mouths and looked away in hysterics…

…Looking back, it struck me how often I have wondered, sometimes out loud to God, “How could you do this to me?”…

…In the situation with Cassy, John had some choices as a father…Giving Cassy what she wanted rather than what she needed should not be confused with good parenting. If God was withholding something I wanted, it meant I could trust him rather than cry out, “How could you do this to me?”‘

Buy Don's book here





Having a bad hair day?

29 05 2011

Take heart – it happens to us all, whether we know it or not.








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