Today I was getting my daily dose of “What the heck is wrong with people anyway?” by watching Dr. Phil. He had on what he called drama queens. Personally I had some other adjectives in mind, like spoiled, selfish, entitled and downright mean, but it’s not my show. One woman talked with total lack of remorse or even insight about being carried out of a mall “kicking and screaming” by security guards – because she had been turned down when she requested that a rap artist stop eating and sign an autograph for her. He told her if he did it for her, he would end up having to do it for everyone. Her rationale? “I don’t care about everyone. He just needed to do what I asked and I would walk away. But he said no to me and that was disrespectful.” She said she was fine with the way she was and had no intention of changing, despite having numerous incidences of this type, with police or security presence.
Another young woman called herself a princess and said her parents had spoiled her, given her everything she wanted, and she saw no reason why it should stop now. She expected everyone to do things “my way or the highway”. She recanted an incident with a driver who had cut her off, whom she chased down until they were stopped in traffic, at which point she jumped out of her car, went to the other car and punched the driver in the face through the open window. She told this story quite proudly and with a big smile.
A third guest was a man who found himself infuriated when anyone was in his way, on the road or sidewalk. He would literally push and shove his way through people who were walking at a normal speed, tell them to get out of his way, call them “human speed bumps”. He felt completely justified because “if they didn’t know where they were going they should go sit down”.
This show, along with a lunch conversation earlier today, got me thinking. How easy is it to approach life the same way? How often do I get angry when I’m told “no”? Or expect to get what I want just because I want it? Or feel like I should have the right to lash out at someone who has crossed me in some way? How often am I frustrated that things aren’t going as fast as I want them to, or there is something blocking my progress, and I want to just push through at my preferred speed no matter what is in my way?
How often do I think God owes me an explanation? “Why do I have cancer? Why can’t I be with my family? What are we supposed to be preparing for? What does the future hold?”
That was part of the discussion at lunch today. How easy it is to fall into the idea that somehow God owes us an explanation, a rationale for his actions, proof that he exists or that he is good, or just the ability to understand him. If we could understand him, he would be a pretty small God, as my friend Caryn said today. He is the infinite, never-beginning, never-ending, Creator of all that exists – and yet at times I come to him demanding answers, demanding results, wanting things on a timeline. Like the girl who thinks she’s a princess, just saying so doesn’t make her one, and it doesn’t justify her actions. Acting as if I have a right to make demands of God doesn’t make that so either. God is God, and I am not.
My thoughts are not your thoughts, and my ways are not your ways,” declares the Lord. “Just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways, and my thoughts are higher than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:8-9
Respect and obey the LORD! This is the beginning of wisdom. To have understanding, you must know the Holy God. Proverbs 9:10