"You have to work hard to offend Christians. By nature, Christians are the most forgiving, understanding, and thoughtful group of people I've ever dealt with. They never assume the worst. They appreciate the importance of having different perspectives. They're slow to anger, quick to forgive, and almost never make rash judgments or act in anything less than a spirit of total love . . . No, wait--I'm thinking of Labrador retrievers!" David Learn, 1998

Monday, January 3, 2011

Slightly soiled

     Have you blown it yet? I have. On New Years Day I was squatting down trying to cram Tupperware bowls and lids into a low cupboard that was already jumbled with them and they kept tumbling out. I said, "Oh, darn!" It wasn't a mortal sin or anything but it came out of an irritation antithetical to the serene trust in God as sovereign-over-every-detail-of-my-life I had intended to exhibit this year.
     I had to re-center. Whether I am reflecting that truth in my life or not, He is the "Blessed Controller of All Things," as one wonderful women's Bible teacher put it.
     Isn't it a bummer when muddy footprints mess up your clean house? When you get a stain on a new blouse, a dent in your new car? I remember when Ben was only one week old, it was slightly disillusioning to find microscopic crescents of dirt under his tiny fingernails. Yes, of course I bathed him. But he still managed to get "used"- looking in that short span of time. 
     It seems a shame that everything new now will--guaranteed--become worn, dented, dingy, tattered, lost, or broken (some relationships included)? Like it or not, this is a world in which everything is subject to moth, rust and, well, the second law of thermodynamics. .  . It wasn't the original design but on the other hand, it isn't Plan B. Part of the original plan was that the original plan would be allowed to be corrupted and replaced with something better. Corrupted--that's already happened. Replaced by something better--that's still to come.
     My friend Carol Bishop used to point out that if everything were perfect in this life, we wouldn't long for the next one.
     Her longing paid off. She's living in that perfect life now.
     This year will get used-looking, too, as we trudge across the pages of January and beyond. We will scribble things into the squares of our future and have to cross some of them out--or wish we could. But our Father has a big eraser that can correct our mistakes. He has refreshing water which, in addition to quenching our thirst, can wash our dusty feet and cleanse our soiled souls. His life in us is a fountain, a fresh spring bubbling up, continually renewing His perfect life within us as we live out our imperfect ones in an imperfect world. We can be refreshed, can start over, every time we step aside, physically or internally, and spend a few minutes hanging out with him.

Today I am thankful for storm drains.

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