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Saturday, July 21, 2007

Why i won't ever have a guglezillion gabookas.

Allrighty then. We need a conclusion. A decisive, incisive, insightful, delightful snickers bar of wisdom that we can chew on and pick peanuts out of our teeth from for the next couple of days and think back on and say, "hmm, you know, that's absolutely righty-o!" This thread of Trust needs closure. Nay! It deserves closure. It demands closure! It whispers sulkily for closure. It weeps for lack of closure. It begs. It pleads. It tries to manipulate by offers of sweets and comic books. It mopes off to sit in the corner for a while.

Yeah, i'm stalling. Gimme a second will ya?

So how does God show Himself to be trustworthy to a battered and bruised heart? Or as we left it two days ago...How does God show He is willing to "bury the revenooer man," for you? He can't very well do it in times of plenty. The fat, dumb and happy are too self assured in whatever it is that made them fat, dumb and happy. He has to be there for you in a time of lean, miserable and acutely aware. As the Maestro Supremo for the Universe that means that He has to orchestrate those lean times, those miserable times, those times that life just seems plain unfair. God has to make you miserable in order to get your attention. And, let's face facts, He has to put you through Hell to get you to face Heaven and Him in the first place. Granted, it could backfire. A person could realize all of this and curse God to His face for sticking them in a time of tragedy, misery, a time of loneliness, a time of hunger, pain, for time lost in the desert, a time of rising seas, burning lands, storms, floods, plagues of locusts, a time of death. Pharoah did. How much would his story have been different if he had instead of taking offense to a God that stood in the path of his plans and power, a God who wounded his pride, how much different would it have been if he had repented of said pride, realized his true place in the universal heirarchy and hit his knees before true Power. God could have poured out blessings on such a king and has. Egypt might still be the greatest nation in the world. Instead of a third world holder of some crumbling bricks and past glory.

Nearly everyone i know plays the lottery. Nearly all of them sit around and dream at times when it's well over a guglezillion gabookas about what they would do with the money. Nearly all of them have a disclaimer they like to throw into their list of luxuries and indulgences about the good they could do with that kind of cash. "If God would just let me win that i could do so much good with it..." i don't play myself and here's why:

God ain't gonna let me win.

God knows that what i'm saying when i wish for all those gabookas is, "i wish i didn't need to trust You but could be completely independent and self reliant and henceforth, self-indulgent. i wish i could cater to every fantasy, dream and idle whim that pops into my own head. i wish i could act without consequence or at least have enough money to bribe off the consequences." God doesn't give me a guglzillion gabookas for the same reason i don't give my sons a flame-thrower. Sure they would love to play with one, sure it would make them powerful and self reliant but i know that it would not actually make them better people. My desire for my sons is for them to be great but humble men, kind and funny, strong in what they know and always willing to learn what they don't. I want them to be leaders who lead by example. i want them in short to be people i would love to love. The gifts i give them reflect this: Books, time, hugs, sports equipment. If i, being by nature steeped in sin can do even this, how much more can our Father in Heaven do for us? How much more pure are His intentions and gifts? If when i send my boys out to work around the house and they curse me for a tyrant and yet learn skills and the knowledge that life requires toil and they benefit from the fact that garbage isn't just piling up into a festering mound, how much better can it be that God sends you what feels like the short end of the shaft at times? What is He setting you up for? How much better are His rewards? How much greater is His love for you? Bad times are gonna come, but they're not random acts of an uncaring universe, they are invitations to come to your Father, not for help but for saving. Saving from the bad times yes, but mostly saving from ourselves. The only question then becomes...

do you trust Him?

Astonishinly Pointless Interlude

Deserts are swallowing arable land every year.
The Caps are melting.
The oceans are rising.
Here in the States the Mid-west is drowning in rain, the West is on fire. The South gets pounded every fall by more frequent hurricanes that are taking performance enhancing drugs.
All we need is a chicken running around singing REM.

...but here in Pennslobovia it's the height of summer and it's fifty-nine degrees and lovely. Sun's a shining, birds are a twitter and there's a gentle breeze tickling the tree tops. Couldn't stay cooped up in the Coop any longer so i'm writing from the front porch. Go fig. Brr. Need another cup of coffee.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Jump! I'll catch you. No really.

So how do we learn to trust? Some folk are just trusting by nature. We call them "young." The mere act of living should dispense with that character trait in the first few feet of human interaction. But it brings up an interesting point. We don't initially learn to trust, we just do it. Infants aren't particular, they may feel most comfortable with mom but any lap that cradles them is okay in their book. Toddlers reach out their pudgy little paws fully expecting to be caught. And boy isn't it precious, the look on their face when you go, "Whoops, missed ya!" Ah, priceless. i would submit then that we don't learn to trust, we learn Not to trust. Hearts and heads start off soft and gain layers of bone, callous and chobham, laminated armor plate through time, bruising and bitter experience.

So how do we figure out who we can lower the shields around? Who gets inside the armor? There seems to this corn fed country boy to be only two ways to earn such an exalted position: One: by exemplary character shown over great duration in which truthfulness, honesty and integrity are stressed above all. And Two: by extreme display of devotion durning a time of utmost crisis. Or in less awards ceremonial mumbo-gumbo, yer mah bud cuz y'all never lied to me nor took advantages of mah sister. And dood, last week when i called'ja to help me bury that revenooer man you wuz right dere with the shovel. Your my brudder man, and i love a purely tectonic fashun of course.

Oooooookay. So, how does God show He is willing to 'bury da revenooer man' for you?

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Trust God?

Trust is not an easy thing to come by. How much more difficult must it be to obtain if you are, say, the Supreme Ruler and Architect of the Universe. i mean, talk about a guy that gets blamed for a lot. Two hundred Brazillians cross The River in what should have been a routine landing and i'm guessing there's about two hundred Brazillian families having a crisis of faith tonight. How does one trust a God who freely admits that there is nothing outside of His control and then look around and see so much bad stuff going down? Part of this can be covered by our limited understanding. Death to us is the end of life. Game over, leave your cash and jewlery at the door. But to God it is the unveiling of our true selves. It is the chrysalis that finally frees the creature within, the body that we will wear for eternity. Being beings governed by the steady ticking off of hours, seconds and minutes with a constant rate of decay we have a Lot of trouble imagining eternity. And so we come back to trust. We have to trust God when he tells us that there is an eternity, that through death we get there and that it is something to aspire to.

So how can He do that? How can He earn our trust? Every critter on this planet has one choice to make for all of eternity. No matter what creed, color or favorite flavor of ice cream: whether to trust God or not. That is the only true choice. God says he has provided an eternity for you and a means for you to obtain it no matter what your track record. Do you trust Him? As the Canuckleheads in Rush say, "If you chose not to decide you still have made a choice." It really is that simple. One pass/fail question on the questionaire at the end of the line which is really the beginning of the line. And God will honor whichever choice you choose to choose.

Now, that said, How does God, who loves His children, despite the plain fact that they are more unlovable than a rabid skunk with fleas and irritable bowel syndrome, earn their fickle trust? How does He prove that He is trustworthy?

He could make life easy for you, lots of money, gifts, talent, friends, everything you ask for but i'm guessing you can think of a few parents who have tried that route with their kids and would possibly chose the leaky skunk for a companion on a long car ride than that person's progeny. The tabloids are full of people who have every earthly comfort and i'm guessing that most of them are not really thanking any unseen deity for their fame and fortune. Much less, in response to such and outpouring of gifts on themselves, are turning it back around and pouring out love and affection in said deity's direction. Some are doing arguably noble things, Mrs. Pitt for instance seems determined to save the world single handedly and far be it from me to dissuade nor degrade her, but i wonder from things she has said if that comes from wanting to save the world single handedly. Given the questionaire would she be able to check, "Yes, i trust God to save me." It seems to me from things Mrs. Pitt has said, that Mrs. Pitt tends to trust Mrs. Pitt.

Can you blame her? What earthly model of a father did she have? Rather absent from what i've heard and not a particularly good actor. How does God prove to her that He really does love her and always has?

To be continued, Lord willing.

Monday, July 09, 2007

No worries

I have twenty-two minutes...

Twenty-two minutes, and at the rate i typo that leaves me with possibly twelve words that i can commit to print. What to say? What to say? How can i leave you, dear Hypothesus, with an offering worthy of your time?

A cow climbs up a tree. (This is best said in a Moldovan accent.) Cow climbs up tree. Crow in next tree said to him, "Hey cow! Why you climb tree?" Cow said to him, "I wish to eat apple." Crow said back to him, "yeah, but that is not apple tree. That is oak."

"Is okay," cow says, "I bring apple with me."

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Someone back East is saying, "Why don't he write?"

There are two doors that leave the Coop. One is labeled simply, “The Way.” This simplicity belies the danger of heading out this portal. For “The Way” is sorta like sitting down in your hairstylist’s chair and saying, “I dunno, surprise me.” You may love it, you may not. Either way you’re darn sure gonna have to live with it for a while.

The Way is easy like a rollercoaster. You have little to do but hang on and yet when (and if!) you arrive back at your door you are often out of breath and more than a little shaken. In short, The Way does what it wants to, goes wherewithal it whims and in no wise, at any time, does it seek your permission. The Way is totally independent and in control of itself. The Way is scary. I need only put my hand to this door’s latch to hear the clickety-clack of its ascent to the first drop.

That’s assuming that I can reach the latch at all. The Coop is roughly eight by twelve with the doors at either end. And yet, the distance to “The Way” is always longest and strewn with a million distractions. Innocent at first, an old toy, a comfy chair and then, part way, there’s a shift. The distractions become bolder, more provocative. Dark and sticky, like an old spilled soda pop and boiled down to nothing but syrup. Get a little closer to the door however and they turn nasty. Scurrying little beasts with pincers hungry for flesh, low hanging, hooked and barbed vines, shifting shadows with toothless maws and fixed glares. There is a minefield of debris, a barrier of clutter that I strongly suspect I put there myself. Whether to keep something out or myself in however I no longer recall.

By comparison, the other door is rather ordinary. The latch seems to be always greased, the hinges, while a bit ominous in their creak, always swing wide. It is only after one commits the first foot over this threshold that one gets the first inkling of what lies beyond.

The first clue is the smell. The miasma of rot hits the cringing nostrils just a half second before the signal from the leading leg that the brain has just ordered the body into a gaping abyss. It is as they say, all downhill from there into…

The Great Dismal Slump.

This friends and cohorts is where yours truly has spent the last several months. Which is all the explanation one is likely to get for why this blog hasn’t been updated in two months. Lord willing, if there’s another such lull, it will be whilst I clear a path to “The Way.”