Saturday, August 02, 2008

It rocks when it should roll and it rolls when it should rock.

Last night we had some great friends stay over and sleep at our place. They are in the midst of a long summer trip. Really long. They live in Stockholm. Pretty sure that is in Sweden. Pretty sure that is in Europe. The wife, Amy, was the best kid that I ever had in any youth group. No, really. She was. And she married Jonathan and they've set-up housekeeping in his home country. So they were heading back to New York to fly home and stopped here to visit and stay with us. It was great. Catching up with old friends is one of my favorite things to do.

We were sitting in our living room talking after having polished off a couple of "Mama Santa's Pizza's." (Yum.) I saw a flash come from down the hall. That can only mean one thing. Lightening. Well, or maybe the bedroom has blown up. I opted for the lightening option and was correct. We stood on our balcony for the better part of an hour and watched the most amazing storm move out of Canada, across Lake Erie, and make landfall on the other side of Cleveland. God's lightening display was incredible! You had your cloud-to-cloud lightening which lit up all of the multi-layers of clouds. You had your cloud to ground (or in this case, cloud to water) lightening which was positively riveting. It went on and on and on.

Jonathan really noticed it first when he said, "I'm surprised that with a storm like this the water is totally calm." Huh. He was right. It was like glass. No wave action to speak of at all. That really makes no sense to me.

Well, it is 24 hours later and today has been a beautiful day. I just watched the sunset splash-down into the lake. There is no wind at all. Yet the waves are crashing into the shore as though God were using a giant mixer to do His bidding. Go figure. That doesn't make any sense either.

And yet ... it makes total sense. It has been said that all of life is a reflection of God and His handiwork. If that is true, and I believe it is, then while I can't understand it, I can agree that it is a perfect picture of how God seems to work.

Why is it that turmoil rears its ugly head just when you thought you would be relaxing and enjoying life? And when you think you see trouble gathering on the horizon an inner calm suddenly takes over and you just cannot find a good reason to worry or fear. Yet, isn't that just like life? Unpredictable? Untamable? Unexpected? There is this Hand bigger than my hand that seems to be in control. That Hand makes decisions based upon what pleases Him. And He always works those decisions to my good because I have decided to trust Him. It's a biblical concept. It's also true.

Still, it drives me more than a little crazy. Why can't life play by my rules just once? Why won't it play and work well with others? No, I can't really complain. God has been quite good to me. He's given me far more than I deserve. His kindness is what drives me to repentance and makes me want to please Him. Not His harshness. His kindness. You would think it would be the other way around, wouldn't you?

If I were just a little bit wiser I would give up trying to figure out God and trying to figure out life. I would sleep better at night if I were to do that. I would probably be more carefree and joyful. But I must admit that there is something inside of me that drives me to want to understand the un-understandable. I want to "get it." And God says, "No. Trust me." He wants me to "Walk by faith and not by sight." Me? "Show me the money!"

But I don't get a vote. And so the waves of life rock when I think they should roll and they roll when I think they should rock. And God sits on His throne patiently waiting for me to give it up. I mean, give up trying to get a handle on it ... on Him.

What you can understand you can control. I don't understand God. I don't understand this world. And I don't control either one. It's best that way, really. Because I seem to have come to an understanding that I can't understand myself either. And while I can control my words, my actions, and my decisions, I certainly cannot control my frustration and not being the one in charge. Be glad that God and life leaves me confused. Be very glad. Because if I understood it I would most assuredly screw it all up.

I'm just saying...