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Robots Have it so Nice.

Sometimes I get so sideways. I’m a feeler in the best and worst way. These emotions rip through me like a freight train headed on a spiral track. I can’t get it to stop. And I ask myself, “Am I crazy? But I can’t tell because I’m crazy?” I’ve studied the DSM-IV and I have dog-eared a few pages just wondering if maybe, just maybe, there are a few little diagnoses there to stick in my folder. Or better yet, a warning label on my forehead. Oh, the human condition. The more I hear about robots taking over positions in factories or being brought in to sit with the elderly, I start to envy their metal and springs. What a life. No emotions to jack you up. No confusion and misunderstanding. No conflict to resolve. No rejection to endure. No anxiety. No loss to suffer from. No expectations to meet. No fear of the future. Livin’ the dream life. I wish I ran by remote control. The glory of a power button. Please someone, SHUT ME off! Unplug me for the love, and give everyone a break! I’m sure some of you relate when I say it can happen in an unpredictable moment. A text, a simple email, or while walking noticing the perfect image, of the perfect life that I can spin me off my feet. Subsequently, all the colors of my insides splash onto anyone around me. And these highs and lows stick to my dear friends and family like egg yoke starting to turn rank in smell. To all of you who have endured my emotional firecrackers, I pelt out an emotional yelp, “Forgive me! I am so sorry for the mixed up, tangled up, jacked up mess that just came out of me...AGAIN!” It takes a day to recover and a week to figure out what went wrong. It’s not uncommon for me to apologize another 8-10 times and inevitably call my therapist to construct for me a few insights to pause my swirling thoughts. Racing down the stairs and to my car, I would pull out any piece of paper or napkin I could find to write down the golden revelation she shared that will prevent me from getting that worked up EVER again. Period. Like a trip wire that sets off the alarm before the damage dislodges. Unfortunately, it happened again last night. I raged right through the alarm. But maybe my human condition is necessary for the real big work going on down here. The patience of God is like a wonder of the world. Once you experience something so stark, so momentous and large, you stand fixed there in your walking shoes, looking upward to such a staggering structure. The patience of God. The patience of my friends. The patience of my family. All of it is staggering when you are the recipient of such goodness. Our humanness, even the worst of it, can surface holiness in another person. Like gold and silver resting at the bottom of the soul, the Spirit brings up these divine responses. They are miracles. When I lose all composure and my impulse control is compromised, I experience the blamelessness of God. And in my friends, I see the best of them in response to the worst in me. This is no way justifies or minimizes anything about anger outbursts. And the billowing wake my emotional tailspin leaves behind me is atrocious. None of it is benign. We all ask the mind biting question, “Why would God allow us to fall? Why would He not put up His mighty hand and with all His brute strength hold back the evil in the world and in us?” There are no answers for those questions. We swim in the deepest chambers of the ocean; it’s called the mystery of God. But I recall a pivotal compliment Jesus gave the disciples, “...blessed are your eyes, for they see, and your ears, for they hear.” Even in the mystery, there are sightings of sensible outcomes. An alertness to the Kingdom on Earth as it is in Heaven, “eyes to see and ears to hear;” allow us to keep going, keep breathing, keep hoping. Like fireflies, there is a peculiar light. We have opportunities to be a profound contrast to the backdrop of darkness. In other words, we reveal God. This is not simple, this is supernatural. It is not being a good, kind person, it is being the Temple for the presence of God. No amount of smarts or strength can come from such emotional, selfish, reactive people. This is given to us. This is the Kingdom in us. When we pay attention, we will see the overlay of Heaven everywhere.

So, yes, sometimes I wish I were a robot. Do what I’m commanded to do. Shut down when the job is done for the day. If I short circuit and fail to complete my assigned task, it’s not my problem, someone else can fix me. Oh to go an entire day without my emotions having power over me sounds so peaceful, so predictable, so unlike me, so...robotic. More and more I realize, if there were no disarray kicked up from humans, there would be no sightings of the repair and order humans divinely produce. Here you can see the best of God in us. The work of God, through His people, in spite of us.

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