Paul starts today’s reading with an interesting statement, “For it seems to me that God has put us apostles on display at the end of the procession, like men condemned to die in the arena. We have been made a spectacle to the whole universe, to angels as well as to men.” (1 Corinthians 4:9)
This almost sounds whiny! He’s a spectacle to the WHOLE UNIVERSE and it’s not just people, it’s the angels too.
Even if it is whiny, I can relate to this expression of Paul’s apparent frustration. Sometimes life seems much more difficult than I think it should be. Demands of work, family, church and leisure conflict on too many occasions. The choices between good, better and best leave me dazed and confused. There is too little time, money and energy to attempt, let alone do, all the things that are put before me. The days can string together like the slow death march that Paul describes. Sorry, now I’m sounding whiny.
I wish that I could reach into the reading for today and give you the encouraging word that Paul shares, but he doesn’t really do that. He leaves the reader with the impression that he fully expects to walk a difficult road. He does however leave us with an exhortation, “Therefore I urge you to imitate me”. (I Corinthians 4:16)
I hear this as an encouraging word from Paul. He is walking the difficult road of an Apostle and saying he will travel that road in a Christ-like manner and as we travel our road, we too can walk in a Christ-like manner.
I also hear him saying, “Stop Whining”.