Deep Questions, Deep Water
This week we start the Season of Creation for four weeks. The two texts that I'm focusing on are Job 38:1-14 and Luke 5:1-11.
I'll be honest, the Job text makes me want to avert my eyes because it sounds like Job is getting corrected by God. Like when a child is being corrected in the aisle at a supermarket, I give the parent and the child some privacy by quickly scooting past them. But then God just keeps going on and on and on and I can't stay away much longer because they're blocking the rice and the coconut milk and I want to get out of the store.
And as I read Job, I don't really think he was disrespectful. His friends were. They continually tried to explain who they believed God was and is and would be. They were certain that Job was suffering because he had sinned.
As I read the story, Job was pretty sure he had no idea what was going on. It was those around him who were always offering meaning behind tragedy.
So I'm wondering if they all weren't present for God's questions that begin in chapter 38? Although God begins by addressing his questions to Job, God ends by giving instruction to Job's friends on how they might escape their own punishment for their words.
God tells them to have Job pray for them. It is Job's words that God seeks.
God is looking for the voice from the person who admits he doesn't understand.
I wonder then how this story of Job not understanding and his friends thinking they understand speaks to these filthy fishermen who had already finished a day's work but now were being asked to throw the net out once more into the unknown water of the morning, I can't help but sense our human exhaustion.
Exhaustion at understanding. Exhaustion at work. Exhaustion at trying to do each day when so many of the days don't work the way we wish. Sometimes real tragedy happens - and if not to us, somewhere in the world tragedy is happening. Sometimes we catch some fish and can call it a successful day.
But most of the time and I'll speak for myself - most of the time, I can go through my day tragedy or not, success or not and I can be fairly unaware of what's happening inside of me. I live my life interacting with the things around me and not with the things within me. I can move from thing to thing, phone call to phone call, decision to decision and not check in with my own soul. I miss out on the depth of life.
And so God almost has to go overboard with the questions about the unknown in order for me to snap out of my "I got this" attitude that marks most of my days. I am very much like Peter, complaining about having to throw the net over... "Really Jesus, we've tried that side. But if you want us to, we'll go ahead and drop the net." shaking my head all the while because what does Jesus know about what lurks in the deep around us?
And so like Peter, I can almost always use a reminder that I am a sinful woman. I continually put myself at the center of my world, I forget to look around, I lose sight of important things while I tend to the urgent things. Like Job, I could use questions that make me think about things that are broader, wider, deeper than what I know. Big questions that put me in my place, that cause me to dig deep into my own understanding, my own thoughts, my own worries, my own questions.
Practical Help in finding the deep during the day:
I recently downloaded two apps to help me stop during the day and check in with my inner self. The first is chill and the second is 7s Meditation. If you're looking for a chance to pause during your day and remember there is more to life, more to you than whatever it is that you're working on, I recommend them.
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