Saturday, March 13, 2010

Nearly Archless ...

I don't know why I like this picture. I just do. The arch takes on a different life in the dreariness. It was that kind of night...

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

A Lake. A Chair. A Snowman

The visit with my son Scott last week was, as always, a relaxing and fun time. Scott and Amanda have one of those homes that is just great to visit. It's homey. It's warm. It's friendly. I love being there and I love hanging out with them. I couldn't possibly be more proud of the two of them. I believe they are living life in the center of God's plan. Scott is a youth pastor and Amanda works at a not-for-profit that helps find housing for homeless women. Can you think of more quality ways to spend your days? When we visit the days often revolve around food. That's one of the perks of living in Chicagoland. You have a plethora of places to please your palate. (I'm on a "P" roll ... don't stop me now!) So we gain weight, maybe shop for a while, watch some movies, sleep, and then start the process all over again.

Hey. It works for us.

But every now and then you come across something that just defies understanding. Scott and I were driving along a road in the Crystal Lake area when he pointed out a frozen pond alongside the highway. Not that there is anything unusual about a frozen lake twenty miles from the Wisconsin border in March. But this one had a couple of things that made it ... different. Here ... look for yourself. (Click on the picture to blow it up. You'll see much better.)
Yes, that is a folding chair and that is a snow man. And they are maybe 50 or 75 feet apart. And the mind wonders .... why? Why would anybody build a snowman on a frozen lake and then sit on a chair and stare at it from a great distance? Or was he perhaps shooting at it? Or was he waiting to see if it would fall through the ice (which doesn't seem terribly bright.) Or was that his wife who turned around to look at Crystal Lake and was turned into a pillar of salt. Hey, it's as solid of a possibility as anything else I've got.

Sometimes life just jumps up and gets weird. Sometimes circumstances just make you say, "Huh?"

Scott has a very good friend named Adam. They work together. Adam is the worship leader with their youth group. Last night, totally out of the blue, his father passed away. His heart simply stopped beating. He was in his mid-fifties and taught school somewhere in the Tulsa area. There is a lot of pain in that family and a lot of people who can't think of much more to say than, "Huh?"

A very little girl who is not even a year old and is the daughter of my friends was just diagnosed at Mayo Clinic this week. Without going into detail she has a genetic condition that causes her great pain in her leg. The doctors don't really know what to do. When you've stumped the doctors at Mayo Clinic you've done a pretty impressive thing. The little girl could conceivably lose her leg. And her parents are left wondering whether or not to have more children because there is a 50/50 chance that child could have the same condition. At this point all they know to say is, "Huh?"

Life does that. I could give you a ton more examples but I think maybe you have some of your own.

It's amazing what a chair, a snowman, and a frozen lake will bring to your mind. Life is unpredictable. We only think we have tamed it. At any moment you and I could be left saying, "Huh?"

The extraordinarily good news is that God is never shocked. "Huh?" is not in His vocabulary. And in the face of our "Huhs?" the very best thing that we can do is to tie ourselves off to Him and hold on tight. He has every answer. He understands every situation. He is never surprised, never left speechless, and never cursed by the unpredictable. How can anybody stay sane without Him?

Because without Him we are simply a snowman waiting to melt. On a less than frozen lake. Staring at an empty chair.

Let me tell you the good news. The chair isn't empty. Actually the chair we face is a throne. And the Son of God sits on it. And that is a very, very good place for us to be. I suggest you hold on tight. Your lake might be melting. You might feel a bit like a snowman facing rising temperatures yourself. What to do? Simple.

Keep. Your. Eyes. On. The. Throne.