There’s a Simpsons episode where Homer gets his arms caught in two vending machines. He was discontented about his lack of soda and candy situation, and took matters into his own hands… he literally did. Reaching up into the machines his arms got stuck.
That happens to us too. We don’t want to pay the price for something and our “unholy”, shall we call it, discontent gets us stuck. We miss the things in life we should be most committed to (in Homer’s case going to the ballet with Marge).
Now flip the discontent thing around. What would a “holy” discontent look like? Well, what WRECKS you?
I can’t watch some movies. Anytime women and children are depicted in distress it wrecks me. Why? I’m not really sure. Something I was raised with for sure from my dad. He was old school. You took care of women and kids. The strong protect the ones who might not be as strong. When “might makes right” I get angry. It’s the way I am.
What wrecks you? You’ll have to let it hurt you like it hurts me for it to bear any fruit though… Is there something in this world that you can’t stand anymore? Immoral business practices? Sex slavery? Racial injustice? Poverty? Kids growing up without dads?
Cancer? As I was writing this Rennie walked into my office. He was diagnosed with cancer recently. We’ve known him for years. Every week he cleans the church. We tried to get him to stop when he got sick but he won’t. Neither he nor his wife’s families are there for him right now. He just told me his church family is all he has. Now I’m trying to remember what I said about things hurting me. Yeah it hurts and I’m wiping my eyes now. It wrecks me.
I can’t fix a broken world. I can’t make everything right. There are things outside of my control that happen, but in my feeling helpless I won’t help less. Rennie’s in front of me so I’ll do for him what I wish I could do for everyone.
When I was a child I used to hallucinate at night. For hours. Couple that with asthma attacks and you’ve got the mix for some good old fashioned pain. Night after night. Month after month. Year after year. I still don’t know why. All I know is that if, by my life or my death, I could facilitate God reaching down into the mess of another broken child, like He reached down to me, I’ll do it. I used to wish that He’d just take the pain away, but I’m 38 and know now that I’ll never be free of it. There’s too much at stake here to be thinking about myself and my comfort. I’ve had all I can take and I can’t take anymore! Something must be done and it starts with me. Now!
You’ll have to let go of the unholy discontent to take up the holy discontent. God might be whispering in your ear “Come over here, I really need to show you what this person is suffering”, but you can’t because you’re trapped inside vending machines…
Let go! It’s time to FEEL something again. In fact, you might be the one to stand between injustice and people. It’s going to hurt you, of course, but it might help… them sleep at night.