Call Me Jonah

Who has two thumbs and shouldn’t have prayed for patience?

Yo. This guy.

I shouldn’t have, but I did- I prayed for patience. What a dumb idea.

I had plenty of patience already. I will graduate after 9 years of college. I have to wait about ten full days before I am able to justify cutting my grass again. There is a whole sorry year between peach harvests.

But I really love that kind of patience. I get to keep making my projects look better. Grass grows back, I get to mow again. No complaints because I love to work on my yard. It would be a lot like complaining that more presents have appeared under the tree every Christmas.

So, seeing as I was already excelling in this kind of patience, I decided to get more specific and pray for patience with people. I figured this wouldn’t be so bad, either. I already super love all the kinds of people the folks with “God hates you” signs hate. Gays, evolutionists, atheists, immigrants, nerds, …Rob Bell. These are my people. I love them.

But then I was given two different kinds of next door neighbors. These are representatives from two groups with whom I share an ugly history:

Old People and Frat Boyz.

(Note: I just decided that it is always necessary to spell “Frat Boyz” with a Z.)

These neighbors are going to test me in every way and dance on every raw nerve I already have with old people and fraternities. They already have. Here is what my precious yard looked like one day after my senior neighbor was too lazy to park on the street and choose to drive around his wife’s car:That left 2 inch trenches. And yes, that goes from his driveway, all the way to mine, and back to his. Ridiculous. The irony of my role as the crotchety old man shouting “get off my lawn” at a care-free 82-year-old kid is not lost on me.

And so no one gets left out, here are my other neighbors:Those greek letters are eight feet tall. Eight.

Anyway, I really, really don’t know how to love on these guys. I really don’t know how to not be angry at them all the time.

So this is how I will learn to be more like Jesus- Having neighbors who don’t respect my yard or my distance away from on-campus housing. I’m so glad that I’ve been reading my Bible and listening in prayer to know what my flesh and twitter feed are telling me to do (hide nails in the tire tracks, burn the letters) are wrong and come from the heart of a broken world.

Even so- man, this really sucks. I prayed for something hard to learn and I’m humbled by how simple the answer is and how petty I want to be in return. I would much rather go feed orphans in Haiti. I need your accountability, prayer, and encouragement.

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3 comments

  1. Disclaimer: I am not saying that ALL 10th graders are disrespectful loud-mouths. In fact, only a small percentage of them are. Most of my students are awesome, and I love loving on them. They value getting an education and want what I have to give them. And I love giving it to them and building relationships with them. They touch my life as much if not m ore than touch theirs.

    But that small percentage …. those few who are not only apathetic about their own education and future, but also don’t care a flying flip for anybody else … who have no respect for those that want to learn and no respect for the teachers trying to teach them … who learned somewhere that it is their right to talk whenever they want to, as loud as they want to, with any attitudinal inflection that they want to use … They may be few, but they really, really annoy me. *Really*

    I will not ask for patience, so instead of living next door to them, I have to work with them day in and day out. For eight hours. There’s a lesson to be learned here, I think.

  2. What? You asked for patience? With PEOPLE? I want to say next, “Are you crazy?” but I won’t. You are definitely braver than I am. Surely you knew what would happen next. I wonder what neighbors I would be blessed with if I said that prayer. Probably loud mouth disrespectful 10th graders. But I already spend time with them regularly, so I guess we get patience whether we ask for it or not. I hear it goes hand in hand with faith and I ask daily for Him to increase my faith so …

  3. Chad, you should read Heavenly Man. It’s about brother Yun and I think his testimony would bless you. I just finished it and I know it’s really blessed me.


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