Yes, yes, yes. I know. You have your troubles
You might find this a bit too cynical. We’ll see.
You have too much month at the end of the money.
Your pets are aged and no longer funny.
Your parents are sick and losing their minds.
Your curtains have faded; you’d like nice new blinds.
Your garden is withered, your lawn is a mess.
Your house is a wreck — and that’s true, more or less.
Your carpets need cleaning, or p’haps throwing out.
Your kids’ rooms are pigsties, of that there’s no doubt.
Medium won’t curate you, you can’t hit your peak.
Seems your writing’s insipid, your syntax is weak.
Your ideas make you happy but not Medium’s panel,
You think ‘twould be better to throw in the flannel.
How is it that so much is suffered by you?
Surely a turn in your fortunes is due!
You try hard for vic’try but grief comes in bulk.
The only thing left is lose vision, and sulk.
I’m not laughing at you
I think I am laughing at me.
OK. I’m mocking both of us.
I really don’t know about you, but I can tell you that the list of irritations that drag me down could go on for an hour. However …
This morning I read about this chap
His name is Paul — St. Paul the apostle, you know, the bossy one from Tarsus.
‘I have worked much harder,
been in prison more frequently,
been flogged more severely, and
been exposed to death again and
again.’ (II Corinthians 11:23–28, NIV)
I know how you feel Brother Paul. A man pulled into my parking space outside the Christian bookshop at the mall this morning. Satan was attacking me.
‘Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one.
Three times I was beaten with rods,
once I was pelted with stones,
three times I was shipwrecked,
I spent a night and a day in the open sea,’ (II Corinthians 11:23–28, NIV)
I get it. They put me on the welcome roster at church twice this month. Once I forgot to bring my hand sanitiser for afterwards.
‘I have been constantly on the move.
I have been in danger from rivers,
in danger from bandits,
in danger from my fellow Jews,
in danger from Gentiles;’ (II Corinthians 11:23–28, NIV)
Yep. It’s a sick world. Some kids graffitied my letterbox last week and the installers have delayed the start on my home theatre — the one I’m going to use for homegroup.
‘in danger in the city,
in danger in the country,
in danger at sea;
and in danger from false believers.
I have labored and toiled and …’ (II Corinthians 11:23–28, NIV)
How’s your side, Paul? That thorn thing? My back was awful this winter. Had to double dose my pain killers.
‘I have often gone without sleep;
I have known hunger and thirst and
have often gone without food;
I have been cold and naked.Besides everything else, I face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches.’ (II Corinthians 11:23–28, NIV)
Now that’s a coincidence. I worry about the church too. Walmart ran out of Ding Dongs and Twinkies this morning so I‘m under pressure about what to take to Pot Bless at homegroup.
And here’s how Paul responded to all his ‘irritations’
‘We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed;
perplexed, but not in despair;
persecuted, but not abandoned;
struck down, but not destroyed.’ (II Corinthians 4:8–9, NIV)
In spite of all those appalling experiences — any ONE of which would have set me on a speaking tour of the U.S. collecting love offerings with my horror story — Paul was not crushed, not in despair, not abandoned, not destroyed.
I might need to reconsider my thoughts about my ‘irritations’.
Colin Pearce, tells stories, writes about storytelling for business and coaches communicators. He’s been doing it for 40 years in 15 countries, 28 states of the US, and all over Australia and New Zealand. He helps people with a significant message to put it across in a short, sharp story so it impacts, sticks and makes a difference. He’s writing his 11th book now: Storytelling works. He says, ‘I’ll make you so good they can’t ignore you.’
His wife, four adult children and six grandchildren are his joy.