I see the glass as half-full—until a catastrophe hurls it sideways. As a child I read a self-help book which advised to always expect the worse and you’d never be disappointed. Ah, the lies that seep into our minds over a lifetime. As I write sunlight streams into my window, I sip black coffee from a favorite mug and listen to soul-stirring music. I sigh…this is good. Enjoying the quiet I rise to get another cup. The phone rings, it’s the ex-wife with questions about finances and child scheduling. Silence shattered, the tension we live in.
For me it was Hillary Tower; the first infatuation, the first heartbreak. I was six, she some years older, maybe eleven or twelve. Spring and summer we did gymnastics on her front lawn, ring-around-the-Rosie, skipping and laughing. Then one day she was gone. No note, no goodbye, no warning. I remember standing in the kitchen as my mother told me Hillary was gone.
I’m certain you’ve noticed the change in my Facebook status to ‘in a relationship.’ Friendship in any form is miraculous. Let’s face it-we are quirky, selfish, scarred and scared beings. When God brings another human being into the journey with us it is an amazing gift. When that gift comes into our lives through the opposite sex we brush Eden. We know Eden didn’t stay perfect for long. That is the core of my angst.
I am a man of flesh and bone. I trust my experience; I remember all the Hillary Tower episodes in my life. I look at the glass, and the catastrophe, and forget Him who holds the glass aright, Him who drives the storm.
“Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen,” says the writer of Hebrews. We spend a lifetime learning lies and longer knocking them down with truth. Yes life sucks and evil reigns. Yet God is able to do ‘far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think…” It is to God I must look to keep from getting bogged down in my pessimism. That is the tension we live in.