Your Will Be Done in Me as it is in Heaven
“Trouble, oh we got trouble, right here in River City!” This signature line from the old musical popped into my head as I considered the collective amount of breath spent commenting the many things that are wrong in this world.
Seriously, consider the sheer volume of words. Talk radio stations focus almost exclusively on things that are not as they should be. Complaints of various kinds are one of the largest categories of social media posts (Memes are often just shorthand for the same). Bloggers typically offer critique on current crises, whether local or global. A large portion of shelf space in bookstores is devoted to books offering solutions for problems. The old standby ‘evening news’ really means ‘the bad evening news.’ Even our water cooler conversations or chats with friends can be dominated by rehashing the many troubles in this world.
I am not suggesting that all this talk about wrong is wrong and that it should stop. (Although, imagine how quiet it would be if it did!) What concerns me is how seldom the trouble being addressed lies with the addressor. The problem is almost always ‘he’ or ‘she’ or the classic ‘they.’ Rarely do I hear anyone say, “You know what’s really wrong in this world? Me.”
Now, I give full credit to the reality that many people are much less of a problem in this world than I am. This may sound like false humility, but I promise you it is not. “I got issues” as they say, and I am happy to know many people who reflect the character of Christ in ways and degrees that I can only dream about at this point. But these role models actually reinforce my point, because one trait I admire in these mature saints is their humble acknowledgement of the problems they still need to work on.
What if our talk with each other was modeled after the way Jesus taught us to talk with God? Admiration of the Father would get first priority (“Hallowed be your name”). Desire for his perfect will would be what we’re really excited about (“Your will be done”). Humble dependence on God for provision, forgiveness and the ability to do right would be the pet themes we’re always talking about. Would anyone notice if you started talking this way? Would they be shocked and ask if you’re feeling alright, wondering if perhaps this is that ‘new confusion’ Covid-19 can produce?
When I came in today, I had been half inclined to comment on the ugliness of last Wednesday’s storming of the capitol in Washington D.C. But so many words have already been said, I couldn’t see the point of adding more. I decided I could do more for our nation, our church and my family at this moment by addressing the man in the mirror.