15 April 2007

Obedience

There is a funny scene in "Waking Ned Devine", okay there are a lot of funny scenes in that movie, the one I am thinking about is where the little boy, Maurice, is talking to the replacement priest, Father Patrick:
Maurice: "So, did He come to you, then?"
Father Patrick: "Who's that?"
Maurice: "Jesus."
Father Patrick: "Oh, Jesus. Well, He did in many ways, yes."
Maurice: "Did you see him?"
Father Patrick: "Well, not exactly, no."
Maurice: "But... you're working for him."
Father Patrick: "I am. Doing the best I can."
Maurice: "Do you get paid for it?"
Father Patrick: "Well, it's more a payment of the spiritual kind, Maurice."
Maurice: "Oh, right."
Father Patrick: "Think you could be drawn to the Church?"
Maurice: "I don't think so."
Father Patrick: "Well, you never know."
Maurice: "I don't think I could work for someone I'd never met and not get paid for it."
Faith can be a silly looking thing sometimes, even to believers.

Bible study last week was about Jonah, and it developed into a very spirited (no pun intended) discussion at the center of which was this: After running away from God, Jonah eventually (and quite unhappily) went to Nineveh as he was told. Was this sufficiently obedient? In a rare feat for me, I took the literal point of view and said yes, it is sufficient to be only obedient, it is not necessary to be happy about it.

God will give us things we want to do, God will give us things we don't want to do. Of those things we are given to do, they can have pleasant results for us, or they can have unpleasant results for us. The story of Jonah is one in which he is given something he does not want to do, and the end of result of which he does not like. Why would we do something we don't want to do, the result of which is something we don't like? I find myself considering this very question. For me the answer is fairly simple, because of my love for the Lord.

With everything I was put through as a child, and the unfortunate and just plain bad choices I have made in my adult life, I have every reason in the world to be bitter, selfish, and pointing fingers at everyone but myself. Instead, I am happy, giving, and interested in honestly examining myself. What made the difference? What indeed ... it was God lifting me up when I was down, loving me when no one else would, and setting me on His path when not even I thought I was worthy of being on it.

I work for a paycheck, they call it work for a reason: some of the things my employer gives me to do are less than interesting, and I don't like the results. I am much more willing to "work" for God, not necessarily for spiritual payment, but because, like Peter, where else would I go? My new life is a result of the Lord and I have my lot cast with Him.
edit #2

2 comments:

Jenny Jitterbug said...

Isn't it awesome how the Lord can work in our lives when we let Him? I've thought about that a lot lately too. Thanks for sharing this! :)

Venche said...

Is that a movie reference I see? I think you've been secretly watching them for years! In my own life, on those occasions of complete surrender and obedience, I find that even though I don't anticipate liking the end result, God blesses me in so many other ways.