That would be me. Well, that would be me if I was Jewish. And if I lived during the Exodus (despite what my brother may say, I’m not that old).
This realization came to me recently while I was working on a work assignment. A really sucky work assignment. A really sucky work assignment that was really really hard (really) and I only had one week to do it. It required hours of reading, research, analyzing, and goal setting and then writing a report to go with it.
Crack open that bottle of whine.
“I can’t play Candy Crush because I have to do reeeessseeaarchhh!” *Throws self on floor*
“On my own tiiimmme! At hoooommme!” *Flail arms and legs while rolling on the floor*
“I don’t get thiiiisss!” *dramatic adolescent foot stomping*
“This is toooo haaaarrd!” *More arm flailing and foot stomping*
“I want to eat peanuts and read comics like all the other adults!”
“I’m just gonna quit my stupid job so I don’t have to do this. But I need a paaaay cheeeeeeck!” *sobs uncontrollably*
Lather. Rinse. Repeat.
After I finished the report, I texted a friend saying “It’s done! It’s finally done!” to which she replied, “Are you also done with your pity party?”. Rat bastard friends.
Every morning, I try to read a chapter from the bible. You will notice I just called my friends “rat bastards” in the previous sentence, so I feel compelled to explain the bible reading for some reason. I obviously don’t fit the traditional “holy” definition, but thankfully, God has infinite patience (along with His wisdom, mercy, love and forgiveness) and hasn’t kicked me off the island yet. We talk a lot. I get a lot of eye rolls from Him, too.
So now I’m reading Exodus. The first part of Exodus is cool. It starts with the story of Moses – rescued as an infant from the waters of the Nile, growing up in the big house, being really stupid and killing an Egyptian, running away to the desert, getting married, finding a new life and then getting called back by God to rescue his people.
But once they get into the wilderness, and God starts handing down the law, things start to get dicey from a “making sense to Sue” standpoint. Following the law is sort of like trying to read all of the “begats” (genealogies)- I’m reading the words but they don’t mean a whole lot.
Currently, I’m reading the instructions for building the mobile temple and I feel like I need a degree in rocket science to understand it.
7 “You shall also make curtains of goats’ hair, to be a tent over the tabernacle. You shall make eleven curtains. 8 The length of each curtain shall be thirty cubits, and the width of each curtain four cubits; and the eleven curtains shall all have the same measurements. 9 And you shall couple five curtains by themselves and six curtains by themselves, and you shall double over the sixth curtain at the forefront of the tent. 10 You shall make fifty loops on the edge of the curtain that is outermost in one set, and fifty loops on the edge of the curtain of the second set. 11 And you shall make fifty bronze clasps, put the clasps into the loops, and couple the tent together, that it may be one. 12 The remnant that remains of the curtains of the tent, the half curtain that remains, shall hang over the back of the tabernacle. 13 And a cubit on one side and a cubit on the other side, of what remains of the length of the curtains of the tent, shall hang over the sides of the tabernacle, on this side and on that side, to cover it. 14 “You shall also make a covering of ram skins dyed red for the tent, and a covering of badger skins above that. – Exodus 26:7-14
Greek, right? Or Hebrew? And can we just address the elephant in the room: Badger skins?? And this is just for the curtains! Or something! I’m not really sure!
The entire time I’m reading it, I realized if I was an Israelite trying to decipher this, I was going to be wandering in the desert for a really, really, really, long time, because I would so be on the “Let’s build a golden calf – it sounds so much easier” band wagon.
What I wouldn’t have realized though, is that even though the rules were hard, they had a purpose. God was trying to build a nation and to establish a way of life for a group of people who had just been slaves for hundreds of years. They had little knowledge of government structure or how to keep a million people from starving or killing each other or how to even order their day. Following his instruction stretched their minds, changing how they thought. As it was, he had to provide manna and quail, water from rocks, and constant hand holding to get them to the foot of Mount Sinai (insert golden calf here).
So I felt a little better about the whole report thing. I mean, it was just a report. I didn’t have to build a temple or a whole freaking nation. Yay me! Yay everyone else too, because the very idea of a “Sue Nation” is really rather frightening (except for the part where everyone gets to eat cake). And just like the Israelites, researching and writing the report changed how I thought, brought in new ideas, and made me see my job from another perspective.
I also realized what a whiner I was over such trivial things like work reports when our world is faced with terrorism, war, racism, poverty, and illness. Seriously – I should have been jumping up and down with joy over having to write that report. My rat bastard friend was right – I was having a raging pity party. And that made me wonder – how often do I complain about piddly crap like that? How ungrateful am I? How often am I whining about the glass half empty, when I could be rejoicing over the glass half full? Or more importantly, the “cup runnething over” (Psalm 23)?
I plan to make that a daily reminder for myself: Pop a curly straw in that baby and rejoice in the glass half full. The very same RB friend who called me out on my pity party also had this remark for me – the “I get an idea and say “Okay, let’s do it”” and then she remarked “Now I didn’t say it was always a GOOD idea…” and we laughed over it because she knows me so very well. But this time I am on the money. This is a GREAT idea. For me anyway.
Love to you all.
May you have a blessed and grateful holiday season.
PS. Happy Thanksgiving!