Man. I am a fairly patient person. But some things just bug me, ya know? There are some things which I absolutely can’t stand… things that cause me to not want anything to do with an individual, especially if they are supposed to be someone who I consider a friend of sorts. I’ll put up with slothfulness, conceitedness, ignorance, arrogance, little to no work ethic, differing worldviews… there are a lot of things I don’t mind, but there are just those select few things which burns a fiery rage within me. It’s a monster. It’s not easy to control. It burns straight to the core. I’ll tell ya, I have to work at not letting them get to me. For instance, when people don’t return messages or phone calls. This is probably my number one pet peeve. If I call, email, or text someone…it’s because I had something important to say. It’s because I wanted to develop a relationship. It’s because I wanted to tell someone that they were important to me, or just that I was thinking of them. So, it absolutely tears me apart when people do not respond to messages. The way I look at it, they should at least let me know that they don’t want me bothering them…a courtesy message saying, “hey, got your message, but I’m too busy lately to respond,” or, “I got your message, I appreciate it!” or even just a, “hey I got your message” …anything to demonstrate that they at least have some interest in our relationship — whether it is friend, family, business, or whatever else. I can’t get in to your head and guess what you’re thinking. Another pet peeve which absolutely drives me crazy…non-reciprocal shallow relationships. “Hey, how are you?” “Good.” “Well how did that thing go the other day?” “Oh, it was alright.” Ok, I won’t bury you with an extended version of how such a conversation might continue…but I’m sure you have been there and can guess. No one likes to be the primary developer in a relationship. If I’m trying to be a friend to someone and they don’t seem to care as much about the relationship as I do, then I cease to pursue that friendship. I am hardpressed to actually find many people who are interested in genuine friendships…more than surface level. People who actually seek to contribute to the friendship as much as myself.
Okay, you’re still with me. You’re wondering.. “What the heck crawled into Ryan’s head today? This isn’t normal of him?” Well you’re right. I’ve said all this to do more than rant or to give you a list of things not to do around me (please don’t make a list). In considering all my pet peeves…especially these two, I was thinking about how I try so hard not to do these things to other people. Then I wondered about God’s pet peeves. I thought, I bet I do some silly things that really frustrate God. Immediately, I realized that the things which I so hate, which I try so hard not to do to other people…I actually do to God. He leaves me little messages, “Hey Ryan, check out that thunderstorm over there, pretty awesome right?”; “Hey Ryan, you probably shouldn’t take that job in Austin, I’ve got something else for you here.”; “Hey Ryan, you should go introduce yourself to that person, they’re having a bad day.” I hear these messages…I acknowledge them…I obey them. Rarely though, do I respond. The whole purpose of existence is to have a relationship with God our Father. That’s what is in store for us in eternity: an eternal destiny with God. Do you believe that with all your heart and soul? I hope you do. It is not some distant reality. God pursues us, and desires a relationship with us. I am guilty of all of failing to develop this relationship. I don’t return His calls or messages. I don’t say thank you often enough. I don’t go deep into our relationship. I don’t reciprocate as often as He would like. All the things which I hate so much, I’ve done to God Himself, the being whom desires most to know me. This is a sombering realization. I’m someone who has a very active mentality for pleasing people. I would rather inflict some minor hardship on myself than to intentionally cause pain to someone else. I hate doing things to displease people. I just want everyone to be happy…yet I’ve failed in all of this to realize the pain which I’ve caused to my creator.
I don’t believe I can paint a clear enough picture for you for what I am trying to express. I hope you can catch a glimpse of it…if not just for a second. I am most happy when I am in the presence of God, when I am in fellowship with other believers, when I am actively pursuing the Kingdom of Heaven. That is my place. It is my home. My comfort blanket. Though, I’m still capable of using what I hate against what I love…on a daily basis. This absolutely confounds my thoughts. So…
What drives you nuts?
What can you not stand? What causes you to react negatively almost everytime you experience it? What do people do that generates an uncontrollable distaste in the depths of your soul? What is it that you have no tolerance for?
Now then, the hard part…do you do any of these things to God? Do you ignore his calls? Do you use Him for His riches? Do you only come to Him when you need someone to cheer you up? Is He just that big friend who comes to your defense when you get caught in a fight? Do you complain to Him all the time? Do you ever listen for His frustrations?
What will it take to fix it?
God is all gracious, all-loving, and all merciful…yes..yes..yes. That’s all correct. God also has a temper. Did you ever read the Old Testament? I wish we had the fear of the Lord that the Hebraic people possessed. The Psalms describe His wrath in ways that could make you shiver in your bones. His anger is hot. His jealousy is fierce. He wants more than anything to have a relationship with His people, yet we turn to meaningless idols…money, work, music, cars, possessions, games, movies…we fill our time with everything except God. I cannot imagine how this makes Him feel. We call ourselves Christ followers. We call ourselves children of God. But unless we come home to God daily, we are nothing but a stray cat. How is He to know us when we reach eternity if all we ever do is scurry by the dinner table at night for a few meaningless scraps to get by until the next day? I want to eat a full meal with God. I want to dine with Him every night. I don’t want to be thinking of how unworthy I am when I am in His presence…I want to experience the fullness of His glory. How we can’t fathom this. I want you to experience this as well. So for now, start by reviewing your pet peeves and eliminating them from practice between you and God. Don’t do to Him what you hate with so much passion. Talk to God like He is someone you know…someone who knows you. Ask Him what drives Him nuts, maybe He’ll tell you! More than anything, I promise you, if you pursue God…He will reveal Himself to you. You may not know how to talk to Him, but He’s a good teacher. You can trust Him.
Thanks for taking the time for the read..I know it’s probably long and drawn out. Feel free to express any immediate thoughts which you have, I’d love to hear your feedback on these little notes.