cause & effect…?

I’ve been reading in the Book of Job for the last few days. It’s been a while since I read it, & I really want to see it with new & fresh eyes, to approach it without preconceived ideas from past trips through the book… so I changed Bible translations to the ESV.

Lots of things are standing out to me – one is that I must acknowledge that there is a huge temptation to read the first couple of chapters of Job where the setting of his story is laid out, then to skip ahead to Job 38-42 where God intervenes & speaks to Job, & restores him. The middle part, the body of the book, complete with the back & forth between Job & his friends, has always been really tough for me to get into, let alone to carefully read or study. Maybe it was just me being lazy. Hmmm.


This time through, I’m finding that the whole “Job’s friends” section has come alive to me… I’m riveted to the interchanges Job has with Eliphaz, Bildad, Zophar, & Elihu.

Job, a “an upright & blameless man who feared God, & turned away from evil,”  has lost his children & his possessions; he’s suffering with boils all over his body, & his wife is nagging at him to just “curse God & die.” The series of tragedies make no sense to Job, & he can think of  no ‘reason’ why these things have happened to him.

Cause. Effect.

His friends know, they KNOW that Job HAS to have done something to deserve what has happened to him. They know that God doesn’t punish the righteous, so if Job was truly righteous, then… You get the idea.

They’re looking at the Effect in Job’s life: the death, the loss, the health issues, & try to find the Cause. Some hidden sin in Job’s life that would have provided the Just Reason for the suffering he endured.

But they were looking in the wrong places. Drawing the wrong conclusions. And they were making Job’s terrible situation even worse in the process.

Cause. Effect.


I have some perspective on the Book of Job, so it would be easy to throw rocks at his friends.

But I know that I do the same thing they did… I look for the ’cause & effect.’ Try to connect the dots. Quote (misquote?) Galatians 6 about sowing & reaping. And just like his friends, I might, just might be looking in the wrong place. At the wrong things. Drawing the wrong conclusions. Because my perspective is limited & I don’t have all the information I’d need to see it differently.

Thinking.

Maybe some of the difficulties I’ve wrestled (& am currently wrestling) through, things that I think I ‘know’  what the problem is, stuff I’ve been trying to ‘fix’ for days & years… is really something completely different. And maybe it has a cause that I don’t even know about, because I’ve wrongly read the effects, wrongly drawn conclusions… Hmmm.

a perspective shift…

Today, I had to go to DMV to register the New Ex, acquired last week to replace the Old Ex, which had been totaled the weekend of 2/28. Now, going to DMV is not my idea of a good time, & the closing of the DMV Express has only served to make my reticence increase. However, today was as good of a day as I would get to go – not much on the calendar, & for all intents & purposes, a slow day in the life of scoey d.

Got my SMOG certification. Double checked to make sure the title was signed in all the right places. Gathered the VIN inspection paperwork. Got a copy of the “proof of insurance.” Took a deep breath & headed over to the DMV.


Seems like no matter how long its been between visits, DMV never changes. How many other places in life do you have to wait in line to get the opportunity to wait in line yet AGAIN to have your vehicular issues addressed? But I digress.

The line was long. Really long. Like for Indiana Jones @ Disneyland in the heart of the summer. People to my left & right decided it wasn’t worth the wait. But, I, resigned to the fact that this was My Day to register the New Ex, stepped boldly into the line. My special brain helped me count that there were only 77 people in front of me.

Sigh.


While I stood in line, I determined not to complain or grumble. I’d like to say it was because I am Such a Good & Mature Individual, but in reality, I was merely responding to the grumpy, frustrated, angry individuals around me; those that took the opportunity, time & time again, to voice their displeasure at having to wait. At bureaucracies in general & in specific. At the injustice of waking up to snow again, this far into Spring. & the list went on.

I spent 1 hour 15 minutes in that line. And when I finally arrived at the Info Desk, I hurriedly & prayerfully submitted all of my carefully prepared paperwork, hoping beyond hope that I had done all that was necessary to register the New Ex. My clerk was not easy to read. Her brow furrowed with concern. My mind & heart raced. She called in backup to review my documents. Again. And…

I was given a number. G485. Booyah! Now to wait for my turn.


Turns out, the next number called was G440. Meaning I was only 45 numbers (or so,) away from getting Dealt With by the DMV. Fortunately, I brought my books to study & multitask – prepping for next Sunday’s speech.

Only took another hour to get my number called. Have to say that after 2 hours, 15 minutes of waiting, I wasn’t in the best of moods, but I was ok. Ready to go back to work. And a bit exultant & giddy at finally Getting to the window.

And yet I was blown away by the tech that helped me.

She was absolutely exuding contentedness. She had a grin on her face that didn’t fit the circumstances surrounding us. I asked her how she was doing, how her day was.

She absolutely gushed:

I’m having a WONDERFUL day. It’s so beautiful. And I am so happy. I love that I have a job. I feel so fortunate to be able to do something that I enjoy, to help people. Life is SO good!

I was taken aback by my encounter; not expecting such a response, especially in the dreariness, rush, & general irritated atmosphere of the DMV. And yet…

I was touched. Reminded. Joy isn’t circumstantial. Sometimes what is necessary is a shift in perspective, to look at life through a different set of glasses. With hope.

Thanks Kathy.