Having a Bad Day

August 22, 2012

Mark 8:21

"And you still don't understand?"

Reflection by Anthony B. Robinson

I'm sure Jesus was good and wonderful, but here I'm feeling for the disciples. He's sounding testy. They are sounding dull as donkeys.

First, he warned them, "Beware the yeast of the Pharisees." What in the world does that mean? Had the Pharisees gone into baking? They stared at each other desperately and said, "It's because we forgot the bread." Pretty much a total miss and they are on the defensive.

He didn't let up, but quizzed them as if this were one of those terrible Vacation Bible School drills. "After the feeding of the 5,000 how many baskets of leftovers were there?" "Twelve" they mutter. "And after I fed four thousand, how many then?" "Seven."

"And you still don't understand?" he demands. Well, no, not really.

This is feeling a lot like Algebra II. The bored teacher would explain a problem a second time and say, "Understand it now?" "I think so," I would lie, desperate not to sound as stupid as I felt.

Or when nothing is working and patience has become a well run dry between my wife and me. She's says, "there," I say "where?" She says "black," I say "white." Mars and Venus or just a cosmic black hole we've fallen into. There are days like that.

When anxiety or frustration set in they can strike us blind, deaf and mute. What then? Take a break. Take a few deep breaths. Go for a walk. Figure that everyone has a bad day every now and then, even the disciples, even you. Even Jesus maybe. And then take it again tomorrow.

Prayer

God, when I (or someone close to me) is having a bad day, help me to step back and trust that tomorrow will be better. Amen.

About the Author
Anthony B. Robinson, a United Church of Christ minister, is a speaker, teacher and writer. His newest book is Called to Lead: Paul's Letters to Timothy for a New Day, and he is also the author of the just-published Book of Exodus: A God is still speaking Bible Study. Read his weekly reflections on the current lectionary texts at www.anthonybrobinson.com by clicking on Weekly Reading.

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