As we were discussing the story of Job I felt like the students weren’t quite grasping what was happening. I mean, they knew the idea, but were having a hard time making it personal. So I told this story.
Imagine your mom is out with a bunch of other parents. They are discussing their day and their lives when out of the blue your mom suddenly says, “Have you seen my daughter? She is the most polite, well mannered teenager I have ever seen. She is respectful and honors me with her words and actions.”
The other mothers pipe up and say, “Of course she is! You give her whatever she wants. She has a car and a phone and freedom beyond measure. Who wouldn’t be nice with all that. Take it all away and see how she responds.”
So that very night your mom comes home and says, “You are grounded for the next 9 weeks. I am selling your car and canceling your phone. You are to stay off the computer and not watch television. It is just to school and back home for you.”
Now imagine she said that with no reason, no explination, no big revelation that it was to show the other mothers what sort of character you have. How do you think you would respond.
It isn’t a direct correlation to Job, but it worked well enough to get my point across. The conversation got a little more intense from that point forward.
My guys have had some big time questions about God during this storying process. So I thought I would take a break from the redemption arc and tell the story of Job. We just finished Noah and next week we are going to dive into the Israelite narrative starting with Abraham but since many people believe that Job fits somewhere around Abraham chronologically I thought it would be the perfect time.
This was my first story to write on my own. Now I say that, but this story is pretty much written in the first couple of chapters of Job. It has characters and intrigue and dialog and even a little repetition just sitting there waiting for you.
I think the story went well, but I was sort of just trusting to my great teaching skills to know what questions to ask after it. I sort of assumed that I could follow the train of thought of the students and keep asking questions to get them talking. So I didn’t write anything down.
I think that was a mistake, because I didn’t have the next question ready I ended up talking more than I like to talk during these discussion times. We sort of fell back into our typical teacher/student roles, and when I do this again I will be sure to have some discussion questions ready.
We did open up the lesson with a new song from Kutless called “I’m Still Yours” which asks if it was all taken away would I still worship you. I thought it fit very nicely with the story of Job.
I got a chance to go sit outside and pray and worship again today. October in Alabama is a beautiful time. Here we are with Halloween fast approaching and the leaves are only just now beginning to show small bits of orange around the edges. Of course so many of the trees around here are pines anyway and so you don’t get the dazzling fall display that you do in many places. But October is a good time in Alabama because it is a time when the wind is cool, but the Sun is warm and you can sit and feel the warmth from the sun as the cool breeze keeps you from getting too hot.
As the father of two little boys now I don’t get a whole lot of time to just sit outside and pray and read and connect with God the way that I used to. When I have free time I want to be with them and there isn’t a whole lot of free time to go around anyway. But today, the day was just too perfect and it seemed to call to me, inviting me to come out and play.
I spent a good deal of time today reading through Job as I prepare to tell the story to my students on Wednesday night. It is a fascinating story that teaches us a great deal about God, but for a group of students who are starting to come alive with questions it is also a scary story to teach. In so many ways it raises as many questions as it answers.
Of course that is the beauty of Job. It is an answer to the question. Job asked God why and got an answer. Of course he didn’t get the answer that we have, the answer to the why that we see at the start of the story. But Job got an answer to his question. He asked God why and God answered and His answer was simply: I am God, and you are not.
That is an infuriating answer if you are stuck in the middle of crap and just hear it on the surface, but it is a freeing amazing, perfect answer if you really let it sink in and permeate through you. God is God, I am not, and that means that I don’t have to know all of the why’s of the world. I can simply trust in him.
As someone who is desperate to know everything there is to know in the world that can be hard sometimes, but as someone who learned long ago that I can’t know it all it is good to know I can trust in the one who does.