By Jeff Rushing
Godly Daddy contributor
I’ll admit it, I’m zapped. And not the good kind like the Scott Baio movie. (Man I miss the 80s.)
You know how in Star Wars when Luke tells Wedge to fly away because he supposedly “can’t do any good back there,” even though Wedge could at least provide a buffer between Luke and Vader in only the most important mission in Rebel Alliance history? Yeah, something like that.
I find that I don’t have any patience for things that irritate me, such as the fact that Mickey D’s in our area now serve breakfast starting at 3 a.m., so when I’m on my way to work I can’t have a burger and fries (to make up for that workout at the gym). If you’re up at 3 a.m. it’s because you’ve been up for a while, not because you woke up and want breakfast.
Meanwhile, at home I’m overwhelmed dealing with a 3 1/2-year-old boy who wants to play outside all day, never sleep and never eat, and a 19-month-old girl who might burn the house down at any minute, so great is her rage at not getting to drink from the juice cup with Dora the Explorer’s head on it.
I delight in my kiddies, and playing with them is a highlight of every day. I just don’t get enough sleep because of a weird overlap between my work schedule and home schedule, and I grow frustrated by the lack of time to finish any project in any reasonable time.
This has decimated my joie de vivre, which is either French for “joy of life” or “jive turkey,” I forget.
But you know what gives me encouragement? Our very own Messiah was tired and hungry and even seems to get annoyed quite a bit in the Gospels.
Jesus’ humanity is on display all over Matthew, Mark, Luke and John:
In Matthew 21:18-22, Jesus was so hungry that he curses a fig tree that wasn’t producing any. Wouldn’t you like to smite Burger King sometimes when they forget the toy out of the kids’ meal? Of course, Jesus was able to turn it into a teachable moment about faith. My cursing would be a sin.
Walking through Samaria in John 4, Jesus was pooped and plopped down by a well looking for refreshment. The disciples went to get some grub, but He still took the opportunity to convert a Samarian woman who was shocked how much Jesus knew about her troubled personal life.
Mark 3:1-6 tells of the time Jesus laid the verbal smack down on the Pharisees when he healed a man on the Sabbath, much to their dismay. Jesus is said to have been “deeply distressed at their stubborn hearts” before he went ahead and performed the miracle, much like when I get tired of asking Cooper to bring in his toys from the patio and just do it myself.
Finally, the one everyone remembers, the only true case of righteous anger in history, Jesus overturning the money-changers’ tables at the temple as told in John 2:13-25. Before he did so, Jesus “made a scourge of small cords” and drove them out. Jesus ain’t got time for that.
Surely, of course Jesus had much more control of his emotions than I do, since even when he was tired and hungry he went out to the crowds to teach.
I, on the other hand, go sit on our big brown chair checking email on the Kindle Fire and pretend not to notice that Penny is climbing on the piano to jump off with a balloon hoping to float away like Piglet.
Maybe Jesus would sing the Darryl Worley song “Sounds Like Life to Me” while I complain:
Sounds like life to me; it ain’t no fantasy,
It’s just a common case of everyday reality,
Man I know it’s tough but you gotta suck it up,
To hear you talk you’re caught up in some tragedy,
It sounds like life to me.
So, since I won’t be getting an extra sleep anytime soon and there never be enough time to get everything done, what can I do?
Prayer does help. Every morning on the way to work I ask for God’s help to show the fruits of the spirit throughout the day, at work and at home. And in the car. And at the gym. And walking on the sidewalk. (You get the idea.)
When it comes to my kiddos and the times they threaten to drive me bonkers, I can remember verses like James 1:19 – Why, my beloved brothers, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath and Ecclesiastes 7:9 – Be not quick in your spirit to become angry, for anger lodges in the bosom of fools.
Or, I can find a comfortable place to curl up in the fetal position and try to rest my foolish bosom for a few quality minutes.