I would like to relate to you a slightly amusing irony. Needless to say this year has stunk… and the stench has been more potent for people in the arts. Also people in the medical profession… and families with children in school… and people in nursing homes… and older people in general… not to mention people needing elective procedures… people that live in large cities… people that watched the first presidential debate… I’m sure you could fill in my blanks. But I’m in the arts, so that’s my relationship to the upper echelons of stinkage this year.
On top of tediously sitting at home over the last several months, we have been in a seemingly unending kitchen cabinet remodel for going on two months now and looking like it will be at least another month (decade) before it is done, and currently I have quickly come down with some terrible condition. I don’t think it’s Covid, (footnote: this was written right before we went to get tested - it was Covid) but it has my teeth hurting and me completely wiped out.
With me sick we don’t want to spread the joy around to my extended family and so Martha had to run to town for provisions and I was left to keep the babies alive. I thought it was going pretty well until I turned the corner in the library where we have a shelf on which we keep all of our ministry resource books for the product table. There are hundreds of them on all different topics for people to pick up. You can probably see where this is going, but a whole pile of them had been ripped from the well organized location and strewn from hither to yon. The babies, as per usual, were very proud of their productivity.
Feeling as I did at the moment, I thankfully did manage not to think in expletives. Maybe a few asterisks. I may have muttered like Yosemite Sam under my breath as I began to pick the books up. The irony came in when I began to realize that the only pile that had been toppled was the topic, “Does God Control Everything?”
Depending on who is reading this you may have a different take on it, but orthodox Christianity has always held that God is sovereign in all things and so the universal answer of the faithful church has always been “yes.”
This year has seen us slogging through a morass of raw feelings that may or may not be warranted (it’s hard to reason with feelings), along with actual major losses and setbacks. Underneath the swamp, my feet rest on the only thing that keeps me from letting my head go under: a solid bedrock of God’s goodness, faithfulness, and mercy. For the second time in my life Psalm 42 is my anthem:
Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.
Does reading it does it change the situation around me? Nope. But it changes me...
And isn’t that what salvation is all about? Less me, more Christ?
Am I reading a lot into a toddler’s mess? Well, I usually make more of my messes than I should. I’m literally and figuratively the dad with his t-shirt perpetually pulled up over his nose while changing diapers. Was cleaning that mess up a big deal? Naw... took a couple of minutes. Is the mess of this world gonna be a big deal for God to clean up?
Naw... just a final word and all things will be new.
Miles & Martha