Lately, some of my conversations have had a common theme, that of dissatisfaction. Folks don’t like how things in their lives are going. It’s no surprise, really. In spite of the abundance of blessings that surround us, there’s rarely a day when everything goes exactly to plan. When we are struggling with something or something that we’ve really been counting on falls short of our expectations or we’ve received some kind of bad news, it’s hard not to be disappointed and discouraged.
Some of us are homesick; others, though eager to start our college studies, are frustrated by the demands of classes outside our major. Perhaps your roommate situation isn’t all you hoped for or the job you thought would be perfect for you isn’t.
Those of us who work at Valpo aren’t immune to these blues. Even if life on campus is full of rewards, there are days when the workload feels overwhelming. Our home life can be bittersweet with concerns about children or aging parents filling our minds and threatening to rob us of our joy.
Frequently, jokes and pithy stories show up in my email inbox, forwarded from a friend or relative – sometimes from my mother who, at the age of 91, is on her computer daily. Recently, she sent along a story that I hope you’ll find both funny and useful. Perhaps you’ve seen a version. Here it is:
One Sunday morning at a small southern church, the new pastor called on one of his older deacons to lead in the opening prayer. The deacon stood up, bowed his head and said,”Lord, I hate buttermilk.”
The pastor opened one eye and wondered where this was going. The deacon continued, “Lord, I hate lard.” Now the pastor was totally perplexed. The deacon continued, “Lord, I ain’t too crazy about plain flour. But after you mix ’em all together and bake ’em in a hot oven, I just love biscuits.”
“Lord, help us to realize when life gets hard, when things come up that we don’t like, whenever we don’t understand what You are doing, that we need to wait and see what You are making. After You get through mixing and baking, it’ll probably be something even better than biscuits. Amen.”
Now, this is not to say there won’t be times for honest, broken-hearted mourning. We’ve all been alive long enough to know that such days will come. That said, the words of this wise deacon’s prayer ring true because in the work of Christ, everything resolves into resurrection.
I pray that when things aren’t going your way, you’ll find the hopeful resolve to wait for, and even expect, the biscuits.
Peace and joy,
Sept. 6, 2017
Rev. James A. Wetzstein serves as one of our university pastors at Valpo and takes turns writing weekly reflections.