Saturday, March 9, 2013

Inconvenient Things

Our culture has a lot of issues, really. A whole lot. But I think a surprising number of them might be traced to a single lie: anything inconvenient is necessarily bad and should not be tolerated.

We're Americans, and we like to get things done, and done quickly. We make millions selling and spend millions buying "conveniences" that make our lives a little quicker, a little easier (well, supposedly). And somehow in the midst of it all, we've come to see anything inconvenient as something that needs to be gotten rid of, now, by any means available.

But why? Why is inconvenience such an evil? Of course it isn't ideal. Of course we'd rather everything fit right into place and didn't bother our schedules and disrupt our lives. And I'm not saying we shouldn't try to reduce inconveniences. But friends, they are not all bad. They are not all worthy of defenestration just by merit of their inconvenience. I don't think inconveniences are evils. I think they are opportunities to exercise selflessness and be reminded that no, we aren't in control, and yes, that is okay.

Those wonderful, edifying conversations that spring up and are then interrupted? Sure, it's frustrating, but what's the point of an edifying friend-group if it turns into a clique? The task that took way longer than you thought it would? Does that make it less of a good thing, just because it didn't meet your expectations or fit your schedule?

We are a hypocritical nation. We talk about going out of one's way to help people as if it's a good thing, and then we turn right around and say that babies can be killed in the womb simply because they are inconvenient. Very, very inconvenient, perhaps, but that doesn't change the fact that it's a life you're dealing with. It's as if we don't even recognize what we're looking at, as if there are things we see as impossible simply because we don't want them right then and there; as if we think we have the right to do anything if we can just explain how much it messes up what we had planned.

And Christians. Of all people, we have the least right to fall into this lie. We believe that God made a world, and put people in it, and that everything was very good and glorifying to Him. The people praised Him, and He gave them all sorts of good things and good lives, and He only gave them one rule. Which, of course, they promptly broke. They messed up everything, and for no good reason, and then He had to deal with it. But He didn't wipe us off the face of the earth and start over. No, He saved us. And that took the incarnation, life, brutal death and punishment, and resurrection of God's own Son. And He planned it all out that way.

We, my friends, are very, very inconvenient children. But it made for the most beautiful story ever. The way He deals with us shows off His goodness like nothing else I've ever seen. Friends, let's try to show off His glory in our own lives, reflecting His sacrificial love by the way we deal with inconvenient things, big and small. Let's be ready to sacrifice our time, our money, our fun, our comfort, our reputations even, for any good cause which presents itself. We're supposed to rejoice in our sufferings. We're supposed to be ready to be poured out as a drink offering. A fear of inconvenience is not something that should stand in our way. Friends, let us learn to hold any good thing as precious, and to fight for it through thick and thin.

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