I wasted six irrecoverable minutes last Thursday. I was in a hotel room watching a member of the U.S. House of Representatives on television justify his failures, and those of his colleagues, by pointing a finger of disdain at a large part of the American population. Poor results were because too many Americans were too selfish to understand his heroic sacrifices on behalf of other Americans and other not-yet-Americans. I was as dismayed by the poor quality of some of our elected as I was about my wasted six minutes.
Later, while driving, I contemplated how I might try and benefit from those lost six minutes. Many a mile went by with no hope of rescuing that time wasted in front of the TV screen. Then, all of a sudden, my wife, Susan, asked me, “Do you know that in only two places in the Five Books of Moses, does Moses speak ‘before the Lord’ rather than ‘to the Lord’”? I laughed delightedly because while those six minutes were certainly irrecoverable, they were no longer wasted. I was able to learn from them.
Let me explain. It can be disconcerting when, during a conversation, someone utterly ignores what you just said and continues talking as if you hadn’t said a thing. You feel as if perhaps you didn’t say it at all. There can only be two explanations. Either the person is incredibly rude or else you didn’t speak the words, you merely thought them; in reality they never made it to your mouth.
Consider this conversation between God and Moses:
The Lord spoke to Moses saying. “Come, speak to Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, and he will let the children of Israel out of his land.” And Moses spoke before the Lord, saying, “The children of Israel did not listen to me, how then will Pharaoh listen to me, seeing that I am of uncircumcised lips?” And the Lord spoke to Moses and to Aaron, and He commanded them concerning the children of Israel…