Jeremiah 20:7-11: I have become a laughingstock all day long; everyone mocks me....For the word of the LORD has become for me a reproach and derision all day long. If I say, "I will not mention him, or speak any more in his name," then within me there is something like a burning fire shut up in my bones; I am weary with holding it in, and I cannot.
New York City is considering requiring vehicles entering certain congested areas of Manhattan to pay a tax. Authorities hope that the tax will encourage people to forgo driving their own car, relieving the traffic in those areas.
On the other hand, human culture levees taxes--spiritual ones, at least--on the least used areas. Choosing not to go along with the crowd invites criticism and derision.
Jeremiah understood the discomfort of going against the crowd. He said of his ministry, “I have become a laughingstock all day long; everyone mocks me.” And yet, he went on to say that he could not stop speaking of God. That instinct, he said, “is something like a burning fire shut up in my bones.”
In spirituality, God is the irresistible force, and like Jeremiah, we would become “weary with holding it in.” Finding peace requires, paradoxically, going to a place few others choose to go. When we follow God, others may consider us quaint or foolish.
But that’s the tax we Christians have to pay to enter the areas of little traffic.
Psalm 102; 1 Corinthians 10:14-17, 11:27-32; John 17:1-11
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