There are times when I have had a conversation with someone then I later replay in my head over and over. I come up with different things I could have or should have said. This happens especially when the conversation has been a difficult one for whatever reason. It is almost like I am obsessing about it. This can also happen when looking forward to a conversation yet to occur that I anticipate might be difficult. There is actually a name for that sense of being anxious and preoccupied with the conversation. It is called jouska, a term I had never heard before. It encouraged me to know that I am not the only person who does this. I suppose I knew that was true, but the fact that experts somewhere are so familiar with this experience that they have given it a name says that this must be very common for human beings. So maybe I’m not that weird after all.
The unfortunate result of this experience often is, as Riggio says, you just give up talking about it. This is an experience that believers in Jesus will commonly know all too well. We know in our hearts the great hope, peace and joy that Christ has produced in us but we realize that people we share this with often do not seem to understand it or relate to it. At times I have even felt this with other believers as I have talked about the profound power of God’s grace in my life. I have had the experience of talking about that with another believer and realized that while they are familiar with the concept and believe it, for some reason it doesn’t ignite their souls the way it does mine.
The danger for us is that we might do exactly what Riggio says we tend to do when we hit this roadblock, and that is just give up. I think of poor Timothy, Paul’s protégé, who was a gifted and faithful servant of God, but also maybe a little bit on the shy and quiet side. He hit some rough times in ministry when people just weren’t listening. He didn’t know the word exulansis, but he had the experience. Paul wrote him two letters to encourage him. In 2 Timothy 2:1 Paul wrote, “you then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.” In 2 Timothy 2:14 he wrote, “keep reminding God’s people of these things.” And in 2 Timothy 4: 2 he said, “preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season.” The message was, “don’t give up, keep going.” Even when it seems like it’s out of season don’t be discouraged. When I read those words my heart goes out to Timothy, but I also find that I hope and think that he had the strength in his soul to do just what Paul encouraged him to do. I hope that I have the strength to do the same. Perhaps it will help me when I am feeling that frustration of knowing that others just don’t seem to be getting it, if I can remind myself that I am experiencing exulansis. Maybe it will help if I can identify it and then determine not to be defeated by it. Then, hopefully I can, as Paul wrote, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus and keep sharing God’s great truth.