Here we go into March.
This is the wisdom I’ve found for this week.
This week’s Gospel: John 2:13-22
2:13 The Passover of the Jews was near, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.
2:14 In the temple he found people selling cattle, sheep, and doves, and the money changers seated at their tables.
2:15 Making a whip of cords, he drove all of them out of the temple, both the sheep and the cattle. He also poured out the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables.
2:16 He told those who were selling the doves, “Take these things out of here! Stop making my Father’s house a marketplace!”
2:17 His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for your house will consume me.”
2:18 The Jews then said to him, “What sign can you show us for doing this?”
2:19 Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.”
2:20 The Jews then said, “This temple has been under construction for forty-six years, and will you raise it up in three days?”
2:21 But he was speaking of the temple of his body.
2:22 After he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this; and they believed the scripture and the word that Jesus had spoken.
“Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.” – Romans 12:2 (MSG)
Oh, if only this were true. I would like to think that God is always bringing out the best in people, but sometimes it seems like people act their very worst around God. Someone who, on any other topic, would be open-minded becomes a judgmental maniac on the topic of God. It’s always the true believer who says that everyone else is wrong. True believers on the God topic scare me, whether they are arguing for or against. Sometimes, when atheists and Christians debate, I want both teams to be disqualified. If I were God, I wouldn’t want any of them arguing on my behalf or even in my ballpark.
But then I remember all the quiet people. They are all over God’s house and all over the world. They quietly live the God life without drawing attention to themselves. They listen more than they lecture. They give more examples and fewer instructions. They have that God-given maturity that makes them comfortable enough to sit back when the immature people are taking up all the space. They are the ones who will stay around to pick up the pieces. In God’s house, and out in the world, they’re the ones who set up the chairs and then put them away afterwards.
The mature ones aren’t afraid to stay late and clean up. Perhaps, in their own immature pasts, they threw a few pieces themselves.
We don’t just land in the world, already mature but in a diaper. Everybody has to come from somewhere.
Maybe the way to maturity is through immaturity. Maybe both conditions are gifts from God, who thought the journey would be good for us.
God, today I promise you….wait, make that, I pinky promise you… that I will clean mywhole room, use my best manners and think about other people all day long, without once having one, single, solitary tantrum, ever. Amen. And I’m serious!
Do not be too moral. You may cheat yourself out of much life so. Aim above morality. Be not simply good – be good for something.
Henry David Thoreau
This is my prayer—
That, though I may not see,
I be aware
Of the Silent God
Who stands by me.
That, though I may not feel,
I be aware
Of the Mighty Love
Which doggedly follows me.
That, though I may not respond,
I be aware
That God—my Silent, Mighty God,
Waits each day.
Quietly, hopefully, persistently.
Waits each day and through each night
From Edwina Gateley, There Was No Path So I Trod One (1996, 2013)