Notes from Norman

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Present Tense Perfection

by Norman P. Grubb

Some of our sins take a long time to conquer. Now one thing I find a job to conquer is immediate impatience. Now I’ve learned as the secretary of a mission that it isn’t wise to be too impatient in public and so I’m not too impatient with our missionaries. I keep off that one, but I’m mighty impatient with things. Just in a flash, I hit the wrong typewriter key with my finger. “Bother the typewriter, whatever is the matter with the thing!” Not “bother the typewriter,” but “bother these clumsy fingers” is the point.

I hit my head against a beam—“Why is the beam so low?” And I feel the scowl on my face when I do it. And all those kinds of things. And you know The Lord has taught me but I’m not yet quick enough to pick it up before it happens and I ought to be. I have said the “bother” before I pick it up. I must learn, I am learning to be quick as lightning. I have no business to be impatient. God has taught me at least to look back afterwards and say this: “No, no, this is my servant.” I have been blessed by this often—I don’t know if you have. How wonderfully God has given us a world which serves us. I think of the way a chair serves me silently sitting there to carry my heavy body. Think of the way a typewriter serves me. The whole world is made to serve us. They are gifts of our blessed God. Isn’t that wonderful? Our constant silent servants, and we kick them and we “bother” them; and we’re the people who need the kicking and the bothering. My, my!

So I have learned to bless the goods of this earth and say, “Thank you that you are so quiet and silent and don’t bust on me when I sit on you. Bless them! Be very good, and bless the God Who gives them to me.” But those are little things aren’t they? I’m caught out there, you know. I come and preach here and, as I say, something happens up in my room which no one else sees, but I scowl and say, “Bother that thing.” I’ve seen the sin of impatience, or irritability, if you like. I have to be cleansed from that. I want to be a little quicker though, to jump in before I even begin to do it. I want to learn that one.

Karuizawa Japan Conference of 1954
Topic: “Daily Walk in the Spirit”