One of the most fortunate things that can happen when one is planning a message or doing songleading for services is when everything fits together. This does not always happen, although it is seldom the case that people devote their messages to speaking against others (although not unheard of). As it happened, I was giving a message that used a historical story that is found in 2 Samuel to illustrate the meaning of a given prophecy , and lo and behold, the sermon given by our pastor dealt with an aspect of the story that I was not able to give for lack of time, namely, how was it that Saul had lost his crown, something that embittered his relative Shimei. Not only that, but the discussion of matters involving the symbolic nature of Shimei referring to Israelites who were rebellious against God’s ways and the pastor’s intent of warning members against the sort of partial obedience that is really rebellion fit hand in glove as well. It was not as if either of us had any sort of prior knowledge about where the other was going, although neither of us were talking about something that was particularly unusual or surprising, and even the songs picked by our songleader at the last minute managed to provide some context about the stories we were talking about and the call to seek the mercy of God through Jesus Christ and to live in obedience.
Likewise, after church I was part of a small group of people who spent some time with one of the members in the congregation. It was enjoyable to be able to explore the beaver dam on the premises and enjoy some conversation that lasted until nearly 2AM, which meant it was very late/early by the time I got home. While I do not consider myself a particularly sociable person in that I spend a lot of time socializing with others, I tend to find that when I am involved in such situations that they tend to go on for a long time and are greatly enjoyable and even interfere with other things I like, such as a good night’s sleep. All of this presents an interesting conundrum. A great many people are somewhat shy and reserved in public but are able to be considerably more warm and friendly in person. We misjudge people severely when we only judge them upon slight knowledge in limited circumstances. I have known a great many people, and perhaps even been one, whose wittiness in public was often enjoyed but which often had a bit of a sharp barb that not everyone appreciated.
There are times when not everything clicks together. In a world as complicated as our own, we should not expect everything to work easily, and we should probably be pleased greatly when things fit together and work at all, especially when they work well. At times, unfortunately, we end up having drama with other people. There are predictable reasons for this drama. Sometimes the quirks we have simply get on the nerves of others (or vice versa) and we lack the will or inclination to put up with them for other reasons. At times there are genuine problems that could be worked out with respect and good communication skills but those, alas, cannot be found. I must say that this is a problem that is not too unfamiliar to me. It has not been uncommon in my own experience for things to remain unsolved simply because one does not know how to mention them productively and simply finds it easier to try to avoid talking to someone than to wrestle with how to say what would be necessary to say for there to be a genuine coming to terms. And alas, that is where we sometimes must leave things.