Fixing The Math

So I get a call. A message. An E-mail. Or someone walks up to me with some deep issue. I need help understanding how to respond to some of this. I thought that maybe I could communicate what I meant by using examples.

Like Math... suppose your life is like an extended mathematics equation. Halfway thru, you become muddled by a simple question, like what is 5x4. You ask me for an answer, I say, 20. You continue on your way and screw the equation up beyond all recognition. This will obviously be my fault, for I was the one who gave you an immediate answer to a small component of your equation. Really?

Like baking... you are adding ingredients to make a cake. 4 cups of flour, 2 eggs, three tablespoons of salt (instead of a third of a teaspoon), a cup of baking soda, one pint of vinegar... and you are stuck. So you call and ask me, do I use pure sugar or white granulated. I have no idea what to say. By this time, the cake is absolutely hopelessly ruined, so in my mind, my answer matters very little. But of course, when the cake flops, it is my fault. Really?

Like farming... you plant a non-GMO soybean crop on a clay hillside. Then, you spray it with Roundup, Prowl, Scepter, Atrazine, and 2,4-D. You call me to ask when it should be cultivated... and I want to scream. It makes absolutely no difference... because it is all going to die, and of course, will be my fault. REALLY?

Like hunting in the woods, in 3-day old clothes, humming a tune, playing on your cell phone, watching YouTube, belching, and dancing to stay warm, then, you call me to ask if a .270 or 308 is more accurate. To me, there is no right answer... and I don't want to say anything. Because, when you come home without any venison, it will be my fault. Really??

People make a series of decisions, a few right, most misguided, and a lot just plain ludicrous. Then as things begin to unravel, they come to me and ask about a menial component. I don't know whether to laugh or cry, but I know it will somehow be my fault at the end of the day. Really?

Fixing one element does not automatically correct the whole.

What is the correct, Christlike way to address these kinds of things to folks? I want them to know there is an answer, but it may not be a simple prayer. And there may be things involved you are completely uncomfortable with exposing. I want to answer questions... but I want much more to be of real value in the Kingdom. And yes, I get tired of folks blaming me when the house of cards collapses. Some folks blame me for these collapses, holding up disasters and declaring them to be the work of my hands, including entire congregations who reject us entirely... until a home unravels or someone goes stark raving mad. THEN I get a call... and if I fail to change everyone overnight completely, somehow it is proof that I am a fraud. Really?

Christ is the only real answer, anyhow. Coming into agreement with Him is what aligns us with Him. This is true in Salvation itself and in lifestyle and decisions. Seldom will isolating one decision, and getting it right, fix the whole equation. That is the reason we advocate so strongly that folks "go through a seminar" like Land of Promise. I wish it for everyone, not just the hurting, because the more things we get right to start with, the less there is to disseminate later and seek to repair. Or, we can go on as is...

It's late; I am too tired... maybe I am just dreaming. Really?

-Steve Stutzman

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