Meltdown on the Beltway
Ever have one of those days where you take a melatonin instead of your daily vitamin. Or worse yet, you fumble around the toothpaste drawer, only to load up your favorite brush with a big, lump of Preparation H? Yeah, me either, but now that I have your attention, I would like to tell you about my last two days of working on a Florida State toll project with a wondrous menagerie of Florida’s finest. I applied for a temporary job to pay off some extra bills that were looming over my head this holiday season. I found myself knee deep in good, ole boys and folks from around God’s creation. I haven’t seen that many wigs, weaves and hairpieces since the Dolly Parton concert I swore I would never tell anyone I attended.
One lady in particular was witnessing up a storm for Jesus yesterday and cussing out the boss and storming off the property today to the cries of, “I’m gonna call a lawyer.” After her outburst, I caught myself chanting lines from the Exorcist, “I think we need to call an old priest and a young priest. The power of Christ compels you.” I haven’t witnessed a meltdown like that since Sea World turned the sprinklers on a group of unsuspecting protestors. This woman made Rosie O’Donnell’s tirades on the view look like a poetry reading.
I remember one quote the day before the lady had proudly said to another lady waiting in the crowd. “You ever here of that saying ‘Blessed and Highly Favored’? “, she had asked. The woman nodded yes. Suddenly the first woman’s arms shot out from her body, curved back into a giant arc towards her torso as she pointed feverishly at herself. She was signaling that she was indeed, Blessed and Highly Favored. As are many Christians in the faith these days. What was interesting to me was that the same person who was Blessed and Favored one day, was Cursing and dropping F bombs the next.
Now certainly we can all have bad days, no doubt. But if you drop Jesus calling card one day and then light it on fire the next, a gut check might be in order.
The one thing I observed about the woman was that as long as she was in charge and in control, she was Blessed and Favored. Yet, the minute she was asked to submit to authority, she came out fighting and a cussing. She didn’t listen to our instructor at all. She kept doing her own thing. My main observation was her own foolishness got her into trouble, but she blamed everyone else for the issue.
God taught me as I watched the scene unfold today. You can be Blessed and Highly Favored by God, but if you act like a moron you might just get fired. God wants to bless us, but He calls us to use common sense and submit to authority. He calls us to be living examples to those around us, from the mountaintops and from the valleys.
People treat God like a box of condoms. They put Him on just before they are about to get in trouble. When He’s done His job, they discard Him until the next opportunity. Our relationship with God should be more akin to Abstinence. I’ll define Abstinence for today’s culture. Abstinence is the fact or practice of restraining oneself from indulging in something. If we have decided to serve God, then we are making the decision to stay away from the things that bring death and destruction into your life. God didn’t set himself as a safety net of grace so we can go about doing whatever we want. God came and lived as we did, was tempted in every way we were and died a horrible death so that we would never have to.
After watching the lady today, I remembered one of the best lessons God has ever taught me.
No one...deserves my anger.