(The "Ott" Principle)
Every time something goes wrong, it's usually someone else's fault. These days, it seems-in politics and in the everyday life of folks like you and me (and everything in between), when something bad happens the blame lands elsewhere.
It's just our nature.
It all started with Adam and Eve. When Adam and Eve ate of the fruit from the tree in the garden they were told of which not to eat, they got in trouble. When God came to find out what had happened, He asked Adam and he said it was the woman's fault; when God asked Eve, she said it was the serpent's fault. Nobody in that story wanted to admit and accept the blame of the situation.
Have you ever noticed - even in the "big leagues," when a player lets the ball roll under their glove into the outfield that the player looks at his glove. "What's wrong with this glove," they seem to be saying. Or, a batter swings and misses for his third strike, and, as he walks back to the dugout he looks at his bat as if it must have holes in it so that the ball just passes through!
It couldn't be me!
And, when things don't go well in our lives-whether it's just been an all-round bad day-dented the fender on the car, dropped a whole grocery bag of groceries that contained eggs, and forgot to pick up the dry cleaning, or, greater and more significant things have occurred: illness, missing money, some bad information on a doctor's report...we have usually figured a way to rationalize ourselves out of the blame game that we play when we finally have to tell someone.
It wasn't going very well for Jesus on later Maundy Thursday and early Good Friday. As He has been nailed to the cross, even the Lord - for a moment, mind you - has the single thought that He has been left behind: "My God, My God, why have You forgotten Me?" (Mt. 27:46)
Because of our painful situations in this life, it can make one feel rather lonely. Not knowing what to do we usually do the first thing I've just mentioned, or, a second thing: Blame God.
Martha told Jesus when He showed up after her brother's death, "If you had been here, this wouldn't have happened." (John 11:21) Martha is trying to make the Lord feel a little guilty, and, responsible!
When our candidate loses an election, it couldn't be because someone else was better!! As the news media shares what has happened in the race, it's usually the other political party's fault, or, the strategist's fault, or even bad weather on voting day. It couldn't possibly be because I didn't do my work, or, that quite frankly, we had a lousy candidate! God forbid!
In the many struggles of life, the Psalmist says, in Psalm 27, that we shouldn't give up so easily on God in times of need. If something doesn't work out s we had expected, then, for many-God wasn't involved enough. God is at fault (again-not me)!
What is a person of faith to do to fight these "blaming" attitudes?
When my Grandmother Waddell wanted one of us grandchildren to stop doing something, she would "ott" us. When Grandmother gave you that one-word command, "Ott!!" you knew you were going to get in trouble and you were probably also caught red-handed!
The best way for a person of faith to quit these attitudes is to "ott" themselves. Stop them. "Don't you dare go there again - don't you dare look at me that way....'cause if you do it again, you will stop because I said so!"
The best way to "ott" this attitude (stop this attitude) is to fill those times when you sit and think about all these bad happenings and instead, fill those frustrating moments with prayer and/or Bible reading. Crowd out those questioning attitudes with the source of all knowledge and wisdom, the Good Book.
Remember - "Idleness is the devil's workshop!"
And in the meantime, trust God. We forget that God does know what He's doing; when things don't go our way, turn to this faithful God who will work with us to get stronger again in order to combat the struggles of doubt and despair in this life. God will not cast you out or forsake you; the proof is in the scripture passage above! And, very important...remember, too, that...
God loves you and so do we!