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  • Writer's pictureMark


One of the things I have the hardest time with is frustration. For some reason stop lights turn red just before I am able to slip through the intersection. I joke about how, “I’m not bragging, but I managed to get two green lights in a row.” It’s a source of never-ending frustration. But I’m getting better.

Back in January I pulled up to a 4-way stop and waited my turn to go. Thing is, two other drivers were waiting for the 4th to go, since he’d arrived at the intersection first. As that one slowly edged into the intersection the driver behind me leaned on the horn. Obviously he was as frustrated as I would be after getting my sixth red light in a row. The thing is, he didn’t see what I saw - another driving pulling forward.

The job I have as I’m writing this deals with a lot of “you don’t know what’s going on outside your view.” People reach me at the call center where I work and rave about how unfair the situation is. But they don’t know what we have to deal with. It’s not their fault, it’s just that the people working there know things the caller doesn’t know. Some people can be reasoned with, but others (we can tell) will never be able to comprehend the complexities.

So we’re the bad guys for enforcing rules put down in the contract we’re servicing. Over the last couple of years I’ve witnessed first-hand those who “get” it, and those who don’t. Just like the guy honking the horn behind me, you don’t try to reason with them. And it’s hard to get angry with them, because they don’t know any better. He thinks it’s all about his inconvenience and, “You’re in MY way!”

It’s no wonder people get ticked off at God. He sees everything, and like that Horn Guy, we don’t. Understanding why God would do X, Y, and Z is so far beyond our capability that it seems like He’s just getting in MY way! “Why would you deny me this? It’s so unfair, and it makes no sense!”

It could be that I needed to be thirty seconds later so a pedestrian won’t get slaughtered crossing the street six miles up the road. Maybe there’s a bird that won’t smash into my windshield, but will live until duck hunting season and feed a family on the edge of starvation. It could simply be that He’s teaching me to be patient, making me a better person so I can pass on a bit more tranquility to someone at the grocery store.

Whatever the reason, like in the book of Job, I might never know the full reasoning. Did you ever notice that? Job cried out to God for the reasons for his misfortune, but God never told him. Job worshiped God despite never understanding the full scope of what went on in his life for those weeks. People died, and the hero of that story never knew why.

We should thank God in all situations, despite how horribly unjust it seems to us. In Job’s case, imagine if God had told Job, “Ya see, a few thousand years from now your name and situation will be used to teach billions how to be patient.” Do you think Job would have cared? His kids had died! There’s nothing God could have told him to make him feel better, so He simply said, “I’m God and you’re not.”

These days I don’t get angry with those other drivers, sitting there wondering why “that” driver isn’t going. I’m not even bothered by the guy honking the horn behind me, like I might have been a couple of short years ago.

I’ve come a long way.

Now if only I could be thankful for hitting six red lights in a row.

I have a long way to go.

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