Thursday, January 23, 2014

A Note To Those Who Suffer From RFA Syndrome

I have been particularly upset with myself the last few days for an outbreak of my tendency to occasionally make decisions in the order of ready, fire, aim, which I refer to as the RFA Syndrome.  It doesn’t happen that often, and the consequences are usually minimal, but they really get under my skin, producing a sort of anxious self irritation.  Maybe it goes along with my high J score on the MBTI.  It’s as good a guess as any.  Sometimes I need remind myself to slow down and ask myself if I have all the available facts, or at least enough to make a reasonably wise decision.  Time, brain cells, and money are wasted when I don’t do that. 

No doubt many otherwise normal people have some personality quirk that pops up now and then that makes them question their own competency.  At least it makes me feel better to believe that.  If you are among them, it can be a bit frustrating can’t it?  However, we are not alone, and the biblical record is filled with examples.

I was browsing through the story of Job this afternoon, and it occurred to me that his three friends, Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar, often suffer from RFA in their urgency to help Job understand why he is suffering.  For that matter, Job was not immune, as God rather harshly pointed out.  Elijah hightailed it for the desert without bothering to reflect on whether it was a good idea.  Joseph, David, and a host of other biblical characters also suffered from RFA, but no one compares to Peter, who appears to hold the RFA world championship.  Yet Jesus called him the Rock, and commissioned him to guide the disciples after the Ascension. 

It’s reassuring to know that God can do something worthwhile with those afflicted by RFA, although I imagine that even God has to cross her fingers in hopes that we lurch off in the right direction.  I also imagine him as something like a divine version of the constantly recalculating routing elf who lives inside my GPS, something for which I am very grateful.  In fact, one might say I am eternally grateful.  


“...It is night after a long day. What has been done has been done; what has not been done has not been done. Let it be. The night is dark. Let our fears of the darkness of the world and of our own lives rest in you. The night is quiet. Let the quietness of your peace enfold us, all dear to us, and all who have no peace. The night heralds the dawn. Let us look expectantly to a new day, new joys, new possibilities. In your name we pray.”  (A New Zealand Prayer Book)

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