I'm sure one of the overriding emotions that frequently comes across from me is "frustration". Frustration with church, with God sometimes, with people. I would freely confess that I am a frustrated individual and the over-riding advice that I have received from church pastors is usually "Get over it" (speaking of that phrase - Pete Day has written an outstanding post on this very subject coming soon on this blog - keep watching!). However that's all changed and I found a fellow kindred spirit in the sermon that Rob Rufus preached; "The Struggle for the Authentic - Part 2". By the way in his next Sunday's sermon, Rob described that message as;
"Probably the most powerful message I have ever preached in my entire ministry".
I've been really enjoying reading Christopher Paolini's latest novel; "Brisingr" and during it the main dragon Saphira has a thought about human beings that is quite profound. She says this;
"Saphira knew it puzzled Eragon why she did not participate more in conversations. Her reasons for silence were simple; save for Arya or Glaedr, she felt most comfortable communicating only with Eragon and in her opinion - most conversations were nothing more than pointless dithering. Whether round-eared, pointed-eared, horned or short, two-legs seemed addicted to dithering ... for her, choices were simple; either there was an action she could take to improve the situationor there was not - and everything else said on the subject was so much meaningless noise".
If many more of us adopted that mind-set then I am sure that many, many meetings could be cut quite short! One of the huge frustrations I had during the days when I sat on the CU Exec at Birmingham University was how issues such as whether we would work with the Catholic Society to do a University Carol Service could occupy so many hours of conversation! So it was an incredible thing to read some of Rob Rufus's comments on frustration in Gideon's life. He said this;
"Frustration is a sign that you have got passion! You can't change anything unless you have got passion! Passion - if it is not fulfilled - results in frustration!"
Rob then went on to speak about the opposite to passion and frustration - passivitity;
"If I meet a person that has never been frustrated then I know that is someone I don't want on my leadership team because they are passive. Frustration is an indicator - it is a measure of where God has called your destiny".
And he ends by saying;
"I would rather have a 100 frustrated Christians who want greatness in their life than a whole bunch of passive, loose-wrist people that are happy with the unacceptable all around them who live their whole lives in smallness".
So - frustrated Christian - take heart! God may be using it to draw us out of our wine-presses of comfort to the destiny that He has planned for us!