Wednesday’s Column: Third’s Words
Not much is worse than investing time, emotion, and resources into something that doesn’t pay off. Like spending days working on an engine, only to have the transmission give out. Parents with small children are familiar with the frustration of cleaning their house, then having it trashed nanoseconds later. Or putting time, financial risk, and great sacrifice into starting a business, only to have a terrifically mismanaged pandemic destroy it.
In each of these examples, a person’s reaction to negative outcomes is rarely positive. Having invested so much in something, we hope to have good outcome.
Jesus invested heavily in Judas, only to be betrayed by him. He healed people, brought dead loved ones back, fed people, and gave them hope. He worked very closely with his apostles for years, only to have them miss the point the entire time he was on earth (Acts 1.6; Mk 8.14-32).
I am grateful that he isn’t like us. He doesn’t give up on us when we mess up (I Jn 1.9). He has immense patience with us (II Pt 3.9; I Tim 1.16). But it isn’t blind acceptance of dysfunction — God is patient with our flaws to give us a chance to change (Rom 2.4). God doesn’t make decisions the same way we do!
From our perspective, humanity was a terrible investment. Jesus invested something we aren’t capable of investing, only to have most of humanity reject him. But he didn’t scrap the car, yell at the kids, or harbor resentment. He gives us his patience, his love, and time. It’s up to us to make the most of those things while we’re here!