Long Time

It Could Take A Long Time To Get Better

Ed, my old neighbor from Saskatchewan, has been curling since he was twelve years old. Curling is now like second nature to him. His actions in the sport are automatic in their execution. He does not need lots of concentration when curling his rocks where his skip directs. My old neighbor, cannot believe that I am so slow in learning to curl.

How I can still be sending my curling rock through the house and out the back door is a mystery to him. I have more than enough rocks that also fissile before the hog line. Ed expects that I should have the difference between too little and too much weight in my curling shots eliminated by now. I told him that it would be some time before my curling improves. “Perhaps a long time,” he offered. 

Always a friend to stress the negative, Ed said that he was worried about my curling in a league. “All I can remember is some wild and scary golf balls by you, that endangered trees, birds, and other golfers,” Ed said. “Let you lose in a curling rink with a forty-pound curling rock and innocent folks could be taken out if your aim at curling is as bad as at golf,” my old neighbor added. He also exaggerated when he said that the Neudorf Golf Course wanted me labeled as, ‘Dangerous Golfer.’ I thought when I moved to B.C. that I would not have endured Ed’s unwelcome comments, but if I don’t pick up the phone, he calls back until I answer.

I wonder if God ever gets tired of folks talking to him about things they want him to change or fix. Prophets in the Old Testament certainly made a habit of lamenting about what they felt was wrong concerning their circumstances. Then as now there were always folks who ignored God, violated his laws and sinned against their neighbors. The prophet Habakkuk complained to God that God was not responding to his cry for help. The prophet wanted God to save righteous folks like himself who were dependent on God. They trusted God and sought to follow his laws and to love their neighbor; but they faced violence, iniquity, strife, and contention around them, with God’s law paralyzed by wicked folks surrounding them.

God’s answer to Habakkuk’s continual lamenting was that the righteous live by their faith. They must keep the faith or have trust in God when they cannot see how things are getting better. Often the answer is simply, wait on God, that is wait on God to meet them in suffering or hardship as well as in ideal circumstances. We may want God to change or fix what is troubling us immediately. Yet, waiting for God to act in the worst of life, shows a heart that loves God when he does not give us what we want when we demand it. God need not respond to our expectations when we lament for He is not our servant but our God. We are to keep our faith in God especially in the suffering we endure. God never abandons us but meets us in his love in our best and worst days and years.

 

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Raymond Maher
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