Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Sunday School Revisited

So I was sitting in Sunday School a few days ago and we were talking about Job.  I had read the lesson - yes, I read it before hand.  Why is that so hard for so many people to believe?  Anyways, I read it and I haven't figured out if that's a good or bad thing.  I feel like I come prepared, but then I get disappointed if we don't discuss the points that I want to discuss.  So, Rick and I had our own little Sunday School later that day and it was interesting to talk to him and compare thoughts.

Job was one freaking amazing guy and we're always told we need to be more like him, but let's be honest.  If we really want to liken the scriptures unto ourselves, there is no way in hell we can ever be like Job.  No matter what happened to him he was spot on and gave all the Sunday School answers, but is that what we're expected to do or even capable of doing?

It's no secret that we've had it rough for a little while.  I don't want to say I even sustained the losses that Job did, but I think losing a child, a home to a fire, and living on next to nothing for years to get out of debt can at least help me to sympathize with the guy.  The thing is, I wasn't Job.  Not even close.  For years I prayed sporadically at best and when I did I often begged for understanding to help me cope with the crap I'd been dealt.  In the scriptures the help and understanding always comes right away, but in reality that sometimes doesn't happen.  Sometimes you just have to deal with it until you're at a place to accept, and sometimes the acceptance doesn't come...sometimes all you can do is deal with it.

Sometimes we remember things differently than the way they really happened.  That horrible prom date where you spent the night at the guy's house and the guy left for work the next morning totally forgetting about you and making you hang out with his parents until your mom got there to pick you up - yes that really happened to me - is so devastating at first but 20 years later is totally hilarious.  Losing a home to fire is painful until you realize that the memories you have are not found in a house, but in you.

I wonder if Job really was as Sunday Schooly as he was portrayed in his book.  Maybe the book was written years later after he'd had time to reflect and had more time to realize what was really important.  Maybe he wasn't sitting there covered in boils, surrounded not by his family because they were all gone, but friends who were constantly questioning his spirituality, and thinking, "Man, I sure am blessed."  Maybe it took a little bit of time to realize how he needed to feel.

Maybe we're all a little more like Job than I originally thought.

12 comments:

JAMIE said...

I hope Job was more like us. That way I can hope that someday I can have a shot at his level of faith and understanding.

pocahontas said...

Wonderfully worded! Thanks for your insight today.

Higleys said...

I was thinking that as you wrote. I think when we read scriptures we often think things happened as quickly as we read them. I bet Job endured all his trials over a longer period of time. He was just trying to get through the day sometimes. Time brings greater understanding.

Shera said...

Wow what a cowinkydink, we had the Job lesson on Sunday too. And guess who taught it...yep yours truly. And who did I talk about and compair to Job?? Thats right, you miss mary. I think you are a lot more like Job than you know. Don't forget that part where Job complains and says he wishes he had never been born. Job was human. And you do sound a lot like him.

Shera said...

P.S. I wish you were in my class last Sunday for so many reasons, like because I told them all about you, and you are so funny and smart, and super cool and amazing and have had the crappiest life experiences, and because you were prepared for class.
But mostly I wish you were in my class on Sunday so you could have laughed your guts out with me when a guy in class started to snore so loudly and his wife let him snore away, sleeping on her shoulder, and never woke him up.
I rock as a teacher!

Shera said...

P.P.S. I do not remember that prom story and would like to hear the whole thing :) Classic!

Velda said...

Good points, MaryBeth.

I haven't been through anything like what Job went through, probably because I'm nowhere near as perfect as Job is described. Satan just doesn't find me that much of a challenge ;-p

I don't think I could be anything like Job. But I'd like to hope I could be a little like his friends.

I'mt talking about the few who came to cry with him and comfort him, and his grief was so deep they didn't know what to say so they just sat with him. And when they did talk, well, some of them said some stupid things, which Job corrected, but I'd like to think that when they were able to talk the conversations they had led to some healing.

Denise said...

Thanks, Marybeth.

Corinne said...

Good heavens I hope you're right. I had never thought about it that way. Trials have been coming in floods lately and at times I wonder if Job ever wanted to tell the Lord to "Lay off!"...because I am SO there. Thanks for helping me feel a little less like a heathen today. :-)

*~Petra~* said...

We had that lesson on Sunday too, and I am not lying when I say I thought of you. You have always been my Job MB.

Cindy said...

Speaking as someone who just had her not quite 60th birthday I am sure you are right. Job was looking back after he had a long time to adjust to the bad things and see them in a different light. I know that is true for me. Time gives us new insight I suppose. Petra's right too.

Michemily said...

I gave the lesson on Job last Sunday and I felt like it was such a distant story that none of us could really reach it, so I pulled out the classic talk, "The Balm of Gilead," and we drew garden lots that the Lord has entrusted us with. On one side was the compost heap of things we wanted to hand over to the Lord, like worries about money and health and our temptations, etc. I think that was really good for me to visualize how to rely on the Lord in hard times.