Parkinsonian Provocation

Updated Blog3

Thoughts and insights recalled late at night or wee early in the morning

Please consider and prayerfully help me determine if the pondering is from God or bad pizza.

Did you notice the change in the title?  Usually I call it “Parkinsonian Pondering” because that is what it usually is:  thinking about something carefully, especially before deciding or reaching a conclusion.  In this case it is more of a provocation: action or speech that makes someone annoyed or angry.

It all started when I began visiting the Psalms collectively, in other words, by the nature of the Psalms (praise, wisdom, thanks, etc ) My provocation started as I pondered the Psalms of lament or grief (approximately one third of the Psalms are in this category, but as an example consider Psalms 43, 44, 88).  At this point my basic thought was, “what grievances do I have that trouble me to the point that I pray like the Psalmists?”  

As though that was not enough generation of guilt, I began reading the imprecatory (curse) Psalms.  Imprecatory psalms are those in which the author imprecates; or calls down calamity, destruction, and God’s anger and judgment on his enemies. The major imprecatory psalms are 5101735585969707983109129137, and 140.  Small as it may be, I can identify some personal measure of lament but when it comes to imprecation, sorry to say, there isn’t even a “blip” on the radar.  And then I recalled the words of a wise sage who told me years ago, “Jay, you can tell much about a person by observing who his enemies are.” I came to know the Lord because of the ministry of the disciples of the “Fighting Fundies” which was a title given to fundamentalists who were fighting theological liberalism at that time.  The wise sage had clear enemies and was challenging me to stand up and fight for something that would probably create enemies. 

Here is my starting point.  I need to always remember who the ultimate enemy is, the enemy of our soul, the ruler (temporarily) of this world.  So, my thoughts go here.  What am I doing that discomforts the evil one?  

I provoked myself by thinking, if I were the devil, what would I do to squelch the impact of the gospel in the USA?  I know that the spread of the gospel is his ultimate enemy.  Rather than causing hardship and persecution, I would create an atmosphere in the church of comfort, convenience and complacency whereby Christians are not troubled about the strongholds that are binding the souls of people towards destruction.  To avoid disturbing their comfort zone, though believers would still be troubled about not being more vocal with the gospel, nothing would disturb them enough to make it a lifestyle of living on mission.  Oh, by the way, look back at the question stated in the last sentence of the previous paragraph.  

I must acknowledge that I have been inoculated with the comfort of western Christianity.  But here is my hope.  It is provoking me and I do not want to tolerate it.  I welcome divine discomfort.  I pray towards holy desperation.

Do you know what really encourages me and creates anticipation?  Ask yourself this question as I have asked it: What might God do to counter comfortable, complacent, convenient Christianity?  I think the answer is on the way. 


Jay Letey