At what point does irony succumb to the ridiculous? This recent headline caught my attention:
Norwegian flight carrying 60 plumbers turns back due to broken toilets
Yes, it’s true. A flight bound for Munich had to return to Oslo and circle the airport until enough fuel was burned off to land safely because… the toilets were broken. Coincidentally, 85 passengers on the plane were in the plumbing industry, 60 of which were actually certified plumbers.
Isn’t that a headline that smacks of irony? It’s ironically funny. That’s the way life is sometimes – for better or worse. And that’s the way our spiritual life is too. God has a sense of perfect irony. He designed us to laugh at ourselves and be laughed at. And I’m sure he gets a laugh because of us all the time. Just like that headline, we can be ridiculous too!
When something comes up in our life similar to the plumbers on a plane with broken toilets, how do you react? Do you laugh and reflect on the situation and move on or does it affect your mood and attitude for a day or more? Are you like Jonah, who tried to flee from God to get out of his divine appointment, or are you like Nehemiah, who took charge of a problem that was not his and made it a divine appointment?
Quick case study:
Jonah: God told him to go to Nineveh to preach against the wickedness that consumed the city. Jonah instead bolted to Joppa where he boarded a boat. We all know how this story ends: rough seas, thrown overboard, great fish, swallowed for three days, vomited back up.
Nehemiah: He was the cupbearer for King Artaxerxes in Babylon. Upon hearing the disrepair of the holy city of Jerusalem, Nehemiah took action. Against all odds, he led a mission to rebuild the walls of the city – and once there, did it in 52 days!
How often are we like the headline we started with – caught in a mess we both can and can’t control? In the actual article, it explains how the toilets had to be fixed outside the plane. In that case, no matter how much knowledge and technical experience the plumbers on board had, there was nothing they could do about it… except laugh at the ridiculousness of the situation. And that is what we must do when presented with the craziness of this world that is both within and beyond our control.
Take a page out of Nehemiah’s book. Take on the things beyond your comfort level, beyond your experience level, and beyond your position. Like the plumbers on the plane, you may be qualified, but the situation may dictate it is not your time. But if it is your time, make it happen!
There is a bridge between faith and initiative. There is a reward for obedience through action. Seek your reward in ways only you can through both your faith and obedience.