Just mind your own business. Unfortunately this isn’t a new area of growth for me. I have been learning or not learning this lesson for years. Yes, I am in the remedial class of following Jesus. The problem is I like to be in control and I like to fix things and problem solve and I furiously love my family and friends. So bring it on – I can come up with a plan or at least a few ideas. But that is the problem. Sometimes (probably most of the time) I am not the one who should fix it. I may be the one to come alongside to encourage or listen or pray but I am not supposed to be the “great fixer”.
In Everything Belongs by Richard Rohr, he states: “We give answers too quickly, take away pain too easily, and quickly stimulate…In terms of soul work, we dare not get rid of the pain before we have learned what it has to teach us…These dark periods are good teachers. Religious energy is in the dark questions, seldom in the answers. Answers are the way out, but that is not what we are here for. But when we look at the questions, we look for the opening to transformation. Fixing something doesn’t usually transform us. We try to change events in order to avoid changing ourselves. We must learn to stay with the pain of life, without answers, without conclusions and some days without meaning. That is the path, the perilous path of true prayer.”
Years ago I worked as a kindergarten aide at a Christian School. As you may or may not know tattling is a big annoyance to teachers of young children. The Kindergarten teacher was a wonderful woman of prayer and is a dear friend. One day she announced that her pastor had spoken on the quintessential verse for kindergarteners. I Thessalonians 4:11 – “Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands.” Through the years I have quoted this verse to children at camp, church and even my own. I preface it with “Did you know the Bible says to mind your own business” Well, this week the Lord said it back to me. As my mind was whirling with possible solutions to a “few different issues”, I Thessalonians 4:11 had come to mind and then my daily reading from Jesus Calling was based on John 21:22. The 21 chapter of the book of John is one of my favorites – Jesus makes breakfast for his disciples and the reinstatement of Peter – great stuff. So I was so excited as I opened my Bible to this all familiar and loved story. And then I read verse 22 “Jesus answers, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me.” That was the 2 by 4 to my head. God has a sense of humor. He wants to make sure I got it so today the same message via Richard Rohr’s book.
“Stay calm; mind your own business; do your own job. You’ve heard all this from us before, but a reminder never hurts.” The Message