Thursday, February 2, 2012

On skinning my knee...

I am an avid runner - although I will admit that the wintertime tends to slow me down both in the activities and the poundage gained!  Nevertheless I do try to get out when the weather is nicer, and it was Tuesday.  So out I went.  I also like to get trimmed out for the summer - too much weight is just plain uncomfortable - for a guy who is not accustomed to it!  I also have signed up for the annual "Biggest loser" contest at work.  I have never once failed to walk away with less weight and some nice cash!  (I even took home a grand once!)  So I have a great motivation to run.  My son Benjamin loves to run also.  At least I have successfully passed on 1 good trait. 

In the beginning, 4 years ago, I was always slowing down for his sake.  Now-a-days I don't even keep up!  And so we were tearing it up on the humble streets of Woodstock when my shoelace said, "I have had enough!" and down I went, HARD!  Oomph!  I had been really pouring it on trying to catch him, and so when I went down, it was even a harder fall than it might have been.  I know how to roll into a fall, but sometimes there just isn't time.   There I was - embarrassed and bloody and mud covered.  Looking around - no one saw me - except that Ben heard me and came back.
Not being one to whine I started back running right away.  My rational is that I do not want to give time for self-pity to set in, and if there is an issue - I’ll know it right away.  Fortunately - everything else was ok.

Fortunately?
Was this really good that I skinned my knee?

Was it fortunate?  Should a Christian even use such a word?  I have been pondering that very issue recently.  Our culture frequently leans toward comments such as, Good Luck! Luckily...  With a little luck, etc.  I tend to cringe when I hear them, and yet to use the Biblical alternative, providentially seems archaic.   In a world that moves so fast it feels strange to think in those terms.  But is it?
What is Providence anyway?  I get Sovereignty.  God is in control - sovereign over the affairs of men.  But how that works out is what is so tricky to the mind.  We sometimes hear the old argument of Man's free will versus God's Sovereignty.  But think about anything versus God... Does that make any sense?  God easily wins.  In any battle of the mind or will, He, being the sovereign creator that He is, can easily bend the mind of a man toward His will.  So are we really free?  And does that really matter?

Let's put aside the free will argument and deal with whether it really matters.  I'd like to argue that it matters much, and as a Christian, is a major blessing!  God, being sovereign, can orchestrate events to any predetermined end.  And while some might not appreciate that statement - let me show you how it blesses.  Not only does His sovereignty give Him the authority to do what He wishes, it gives men the freedom to rest. Let me illustrate.
Just under two years ago, on a Saturday morning I received a call at a quarter to 5 in the morning.  It's never good to receive an early morning call, but I thought it was my alarm clock.  Nevertheless it was my brother-in-law Bobby telling me that my brother Scott was found by the police doing a wellness check.  He was long gone, and there was nothing to be done.  My brother of only 37 passed away due to (medically speaking) diabetes and complications to it.

This was all complicated by the various reports of the events of the last few weeks before Scott passed.  There was no electricity in his place.  His home phone was turned off (He had no cell).  There was no cable TV.  He had been shut off.  His driver license was out of date.  And his car plates were expired for two months.  He'd been out of work for about 6 months.  Unable to pay the bills, they were turned off.  Even the very week before he passed, when his kids were in town to visit their Dad (a blessing of epic proportions), he'd had TV and electricity.  Apparently two nights before he was found, he left work early because he wasn't feeling good, and went home. 

Of course the questions came flying through everyone’s mind.  Why?  Why didn't he go to the doctor that night?  Why did he not tell us things were getting so bad, couldn't one of us have helped him with the bills?  ...then maybe his phone would have been....     and we all begin to spin down, out of control, to unanswered questions, pain, anger, depressions, grief, and all that comes with it. (See http://mysoapbox2.blogspot.com/2012/04/they-left-us.html and http://allpoetry.com/poem/7362038-Spinning_down-by-dlcox2)

Sorry - that was hard.  But consider how that scenario changes when we look through the lens of Gods’ Sovereign, Providential hand.  Instead of crashing into our presuppositional rational that men have freedom (and thereby responsibility) we can lean upon our God's wise and sovereign care.  And He does care.  Our problem is that our self-centeredness keeps the focus off base.
Gods Providence is such that He will get the most glory from all that occurs, period.  Not that we will live grief free, or pain free lives.  When we look at the world rightly, what a light He sheds on our way.

So how did God get the glory for my painful skinned knee?  This blog post - perhaps...

1 comment:

  1. Wow this is really well written! i started to tear up reading about Uncle scott.

    Keep me updated when you update this, I´d like to keep up with it.

    ReplyDelete

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