There is a saying in Spanish that says, "En todo lado se cuecen habas". The literal translation of this saying is "Lima beans are cooked everywhere". The translation of the meaning is that there are difficulties and unpleasantries found everywhere and in all circumstances. A shortened version would say "things are the same all over".
That saying came to mind when my bride asked me what the guy we hired to do some work at our home said when I spoke with him about the delay in finishing the job. Without much thought I said "Typical maestro reasons". "Maestro" is a Spanish term for either a trade journeyman and in Chile was often used to what we would refer in the U.S. as a handyman. I could as easily said "Typical contractor excuses". Many of us have been frustrated by contractors that juggle several jobs and behave like ours is at the bottom of their priority list. As I pondered the rapidity with which I gave my bride an answer, I realized that my answer regarding the words of the guy we hired conveyed a perception of what was normal with guys in his line of work.
What we consider normal often flies in direct opposition to what we are taught in the Bible. For instance, we are taught by Jesus that our yes be a yes and our no be a no. Therefore, if a contractor is a Christian, they should arrive when they say they are going to arrive. If they don't plan on arriving at that time, they should not say so. However, we have come to expect nothing different.
Not expecting something different or adapting to what we consider normal can also cloud our perception about how we are to behave and act. For instance, it is very common for us to feel as though we should be aware of what everyone in our church body is doing and perhaps even having a say in it. There is nothing wrong with wising to be informed but it does become problematic when our desire to be informed is detrimental to our focus on what we should be doing.
One of the greatest examples of second chances is found towards the end of the Gospel of John. Peter had denied Jesus after Jesus was arrested. He did so not once but three times. In the twenty-first chapter, Peter is now facing a resurrected Christ who asks him "Peter do you love me?" The question is asked and answered three times and the answer each time lays out a job for Peter. After being given his assignment, we read that Peter saw John coming toward them and in 21:21-22 we read: [When Peter saw him, he said to Jesus, "Lord what about this man?" Jesus said to him, "If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow me!"] We can understand Jesus words as "don't fret over what he is doing, focus on what the task I have given you." Each of us need to keep what Jesus has called us to do in the forefront of our daily decisions. Let us each day strive to be diligent in that endeavor.
Have a blessed Tuesday,