What are the rules that define just how long is an appropriate amount of time to wait? What constitutes treating someone with respect involving the passing of time?
I have been told over the years there are rules dictating the definition of “Good Literature,” and it has been explained to me, not very successfully, there are rules governing that which defines “Good Music.” I believe it is the same in the world of visual art. In order to have “Good Art,” you must…
So here we go: Who made all those rules about music, literature, art? Why are these rules accepted as the last word, the Holy Grail by which all music, writing, art is measured, judged, and found wanting?
For those who either do not know me or do not know me well, I feel the need to explain. To begin, I am a firstborn and as such have very definite views on life, the universe, and how it all should behave! For the majority of first borns, rules are very important. We are the ones our parents first experimented on with setting, enforcing, and deciding what rules were needed. However, I have also noted a trend, at least in myself, if the rules do not make sense, do not appear to serve a real purpose, are not applied equally, are ignored, or are not enforced, then those rules no longer need to be considered of value. I believe we need rules, laws, and guidelines enforced equally on all, period. I also believe they must serve a positive purpose other than someone’s desire for control. A fundamental foundation to rules and laws is accountability. Those who create victims must be held accountable for destroying life, safety, peace, confidence, ability, etc., the rules that define life.
In so many ways Joseph was a victim. He’d had multiple rights ripped from him. First by his family, those who were supposed to love and protect him. Next, after serving faithfully and with integrity for 10 years, Joseph was falsely accused of raping his Master’s wife. The Master he had served with distinction threw Joseph into prison. I believe Potiphar knew Joseph was innocent. However culture and society dictated Potiphar at least seem to believe his wife.
Joseph experienced the wound of betrayal once again. Someone he had learned to serve, respect, and even begin to trust had let him down. It would be very easy for Joseph to slip into bitterness, that quagmire of quicksand. God kept Joseph seeking to serve with integrity, doing his best, honoring God, his father, his family, and those for whom he labored.
This is the attitude that followed Joseph into the very presence of Pharaoh. What if Joseph had spent the last 13 years nurturing a grudge and reliving every way he had been betrayed, lied about, and mistreated? What if he had allowed those feelings to feed anger and bitterness and then was placed before the most powerful man on earth? What would have come rushing out of Joseph’s mouth? All that was in his heart and mind would have exploded all over the throne room that day! Imagine if Joseph had spent his time focusing on rules dictating the length of time before he was summoned to Pharaoh. Suppose he had been building in his mind his defense, and offense based on how he had been treated as an innocent caught in the crossfire of self-centered mercenaries! If that had been his choice along with myriad other choices he could have made, we would not have this amazing story of God’s Divine Appointments at work. The choice Joseph made changed the world!
“This is the message just as I have told Pharaoh: God has shown Pharaoh what He is about to do.” Genesis 41:28 Amplified Version
Please see this incredible message! It has been staring me in the face for years; what a revelation of God’s passion and intimacy for all His children as He sends Pharaoh a warning! This is Grace in action, amazing Grace in action! Why would anyone want anything else? This is God’s Grace warning Pharaoh and Egypt.
God in His Grace warns Nineveh in the future. God’s Grace comes over and over, warning those who don’t know Him of the choice to trust Him. Talk about Good News! This is the most Exciting News to hit our war ravaged beings. God’s Grace seeks out everyone. Unfortunately, some will not listen; some will choose not to hear, and some prefer to be their own god. Yet the Miracle of God’s Grace pursuing His Creation never ceases to be our reality, no matter what we think, see, or feel.
“Take note!” Genesis 41:29-31 When God sends us a message, it is always a good idea to pay attention. He speaks to us in many ways, but what happens way too often is we just are not listening!
“That the dream was sent twice to Pharaoh and in two forms indicates that this thing which God will very soon bring to pass is fully prepared and established by God.” Genesis 41:32 Amplified Version
There it is. One element of Joseph’s 13 years of preparation is complete. The message has been delivered; surely, now he can go home.
What about you? What does God want for you? Does He want you experience big things or little things? Or maybe that question isn’t even valid! God wants for you exactly what He has always wanted for you. God wants you to have life without the complications of the Great Controversy, caused by the rebellion.
On that fatal day in the Garden, the serpent, the dragon, convinced the two perfectly created by God’s hand, the ones who breathed in the life-breath of God, they could be like their Creator. This was the flame which lit the fuse, sparking the greatest eruptions that were ever to occur on this planet: Christ’s Birth, Death, and Resurrection and Christ’s Second Coming when it all will be complete.
Until then we are in the refining process, the process turning the dross of our self-centered rebellion into the gold of God’s Grace. We, the Grace-filled, gold-refined former rebels, now seek to serve those God brings to us.
The waiting isn’t easy; often it is not fun. It can be scary, at times even terrifying, especially when we have more bills than money, more sickness than health, more heartache and loss than we think we can stand. All these, the cares of this world, grab and pull to turn our hearts from the Grace Giver.
Sometimes it feels like minute by minute I struggle with claiming peace. Hour by hour, and day by week by month and year spent learning all my worry has so far changed nothing! Yet through all of it, every millisecond, God’s Grace walks with me, crawls with me, and mostly these days, carries me. He sends me words, thoughts, songs. He sends me the best of friends who remind me who I am, Who has me, Who will never let me go. And no matter what I may think or believe about myself, God tells me I am the apple of His eye, He has my name written on the palm of His hand, and no one can snatch me away from Him.
I really don’t see how it could get any better than life with Him!
Good Literature: what I like to read and feeds my mind.
Good Music: what I like to listen to and feeds my soul.
Good Art: makes me smile, contemplate, consider, and with all my struggles, still makes me think outside of myself, considering others!
These are the rules that define my idea of what makes Good Literature, Music, and Art.