Worst Day Ever
This Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men. Acts 2:23
I recently had a bad day at work. It was one of those days when multiple things went wrong. Everyone, including me, just seemed off, unable to do our normal jobs. Patient’s labs and x-rays weren’t getting done. Everything took twice as long as it should, and communication seemed to fall apart. A couple hours into the day, I felt like I was spinning my wheels, getting nowhere. I got frustrated. This is the worst day ever. No one is doing their jobs. Everyone is trying to make my life difficult.
I often think like this. Anyone else, looking at my day would see that there were some minor inconveniences, but that overall, my life wasn’t radically altered. To me though, in my all-or-nothing thinking, I was experiencing a catastrophe. I’m prone to extremes. I don’t order the petit fillet mignon. I order the 22-ounce porterhouse. I don’t train for a 5k road race. I sign up for the marathon. I don’t have days with minor inconveniences. I have cataclysmic days.
This black and white, all-or-nothing thinking sneaks its way into everything, including my relationship with God. In my addiction, while seeking recovery, I knew I couldn’t get there on my own, so I turned to God. I thought that If God did it, then I didn’t have to do anything. It simply had to be one or the other.
Today’s passage helps me understand the flaw in my black and white thinking. In the narrative, Peter described Christ’s crucifixion as God’s predestined plan. Then, in the same sentence, he blamed lawless men. Did those who crucified Christ make a sinful, destructive choice? Or did God intend for Christ to die? Yes. It’s both. I want to know if God is in control or if men can make bad choices. In my all-or-nothing thinking, it must be one or the other. Peter though, had no problem saying that both are true. Somehow, God is in control and somehow, he allows us to make choices.
I was partially right. I couldn’t find recovery on my own. I needed God. This, however, didn’t mean that I had no part to play. God asked me to obey, and in my obedience, He radically transformed me. Did God change me, or did I participate? Absolutely yes, to both.