There are days when I really miss the good ole days of the King James Version. A conversion the apostle Paul had in his conversion experience is set forth in the book of Acts (in the New Testament) like so:
"And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks."
Yes, I know. They didn't mean the same thing we mean when we use the word today. The same word is translated "goads" in the New King James version, and the entire comment is left out of the New American Standard and the New International version - apparently, some of the early manuscripts did not contain that comment.
Anyway, it was one of the fun things to do during the morning service when I was a kid: go through the Bible and find all the naughty bits. I read Genesis and Deuteronomy gleefully, looking for the cool stories, the prohibitions, the stuff proper people didn't discuss in the late 60s.
But I digress.
It took this morning's message to help make the connection about what I've been struggling with in terms of People I Don't Like, whether they're family or cow-orkers (oooo. sorry. "Co-workers"), and the connection had absolutely nothing to do with the message. However, the message did serve as a goad to a part of my brain that, thankfully, I wasn't using at the time, thereby allowing one of the pricks or goads to prod it to realize something it wouldn't have realized on its own.
The message this morning was about faith and works, and the connection I got out of it instead was that no matter what insanity is going on around me, I am not responsible for anyone but myself. Gotta hand it to my mom - whenever I would whine about how my sister (or brothers) got away with stuff, or how I shouldn't get in trouble because "she did [whatever]," my mom's response was always: "I don't care what she did. You just take care of you." [Completely unfair, but y'know, right on the money in terms of preparing me for real life!!]
I spent most of yesterday (beautiful day though it was) and this whole afternoon (also a beautiful day) getting my decks cleared at work for more stuff, and as I was whining and feeling quite sorry for myself and grousing about how so-and-so got this or that, I also sent emails to people from whom I have gotten good billable work before, because I really do like my job.
This morning, two of the three people I emailed sent replies telling me that they have work - one said to come see him on Monday. How cool is that! Here I was blubbering like a little kid about how somebody got my office and somebody is getting all the work I used to do and everybody else is going on these things and I'm not, when I only had to ask to be put back in the rotation. My favorite response was "perfect. let me see what is available."
"Ye have not because ye ask not." That's another one from the King James.