Patience

Life Lessons

Bible stories often contrast people who are spiritually attuned with those who are as lost as a goose.  In the story of Naboth’s Vineyard (I Kings 21), the King of Israel is shown to be a spoiled, middle-aged, child. King Ahab is easily persuaded to commit murder. All Queen Jezebel has to do is appeal to the man’s unbridled pride in being the king (think Mel Brooks, “It’s good to be the King”). When we are spiritually immature, our pride makes us vulnerable.

 

By way of contrast, Naboth is spiritually attuned to the way God has tied the providence of his family, and the dignity of his ancestors (think humus — the rich loam that forms the root word of humanity and humility), with the working of the soil. He will not sell his vineyard for it is the living, organic, means that rural society has to care for the future generation.

 

Sunday, June 12, 2016
Pentecost 6

Hope that does not disappoint

Recent psychological studies seem to reveal a disadvantage to being hopeful. In one, students were asked how well they thought they did on a test. Often, those who performed the worst thought that they did well, outshining their peers. They were hopeful. Whereas the best students tended to rate their work as average, assuming that half the class did as well as they did. This is known as the Dunning-Kruger effect. Incompetent people tend to be over-hopeful. One has to know something in order to have doubts. Dunning-Kruger is everywhere. Your coworkers, the current crop of politicians, your teenage children. In many areas of life, hope disappoints.

 

There is another kind of hope, though. One that is developed over a series of difficulties. It is the product of the Holy Spirit — but not the gentle dove of a relaxed evening by the lake — but the unseen God who sustains us through life’s darkest moments.

 

Sunday, May 22, 2016
Pentecost 2
Trinity Sunday

Hope that does not disappoint

Recent psychological studies seem to reveal a disadvantage to being hopeful. In one students were asked how well they thought they did on a test. Often, those who performed the worst thought that they did well, outshining their peers. They were hopeful. Whereas the best students tended to rate their work as average, assuming that half the class did as well as they did. This is known as the Dunning-Kruger effect. Incompetent people tend to be over-hopeful. One has to know something in order to have doubts. Dunning-Kruger is everywhere. Your coworkers, the current crop of politicians, your teenage children. In many areas of life, hope disappoints.

 

There is another kind of hope, though. One that is developed over a series of difficulties. It is the product of the Holy Spirit — but not the gentle dove of a relaxed evening by the lake — but the unseen God who sustains us through life’s darkest moments.

 

Sunday, May 22, 2016
Pentecost 2
Trinity Sunday
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