Why is it that when traffic is diverted around “Men At Work” signs on the road, we often don’t see anyone doing any actual work?
Sometimes the construction zone is deserted, and work on the project seems to be at a standstill. And yet vehicles are still forced to circumvent the area.
At other times there might be a few workers milling about and talking, or peering down an open maintenance hole. But again, lanes are blocked off and traffic is being slowed down for seemingly very little reason.
We naturally find this very annoying. The disruptions and delays would be easier to handle if we could actually see some work getting done, some real progress being made.
Sometimes we show the same impatience with God, don’t we?
We have prayers that we want Him to answer, and circumstances in our lives that we want Him to change. But we get frustrated when nothing seems to be happening.
In baking, as in life, it’s important to let off some steam every so often.
When you’re baking a pie, the recipe will usually instruct you to make some slashes or holes in the top crust before putting the pie in the oven. This isn’t just to make a pretty design, although some people do get very creative and make decorative cut-outs of hearts or dots, or even create a latticework effect in the crust.
The real purpose of these openings is to let the steam escape. If there’s no outlet for the steam building up under the crust, the filling will burst through and spill out. Your pie will end up looking like an unsightly mess.
Sometimes we need to let off a bit of steam, too. We get frustrated or angry at the circumstances in our lives, and need to “vent” our feelings.
David certainly did his share of venting in the Psalms. He let loose with some very raw emotions, crying out to God to intervene in his situation.
Surprisingly, God seemed okay with David’s outbursts. In fact, David was the only person in Scripture whom God called “a man after my own heart” (Acts 13:22).
I believe David’s example can give us a key to how to vent appropriately without letting our emotions explode all over, making a mess of our lives and leaving us bitter.