Monday, March 16, 2015

God Is Made Most Sweet In Times Most Bitter

In my most difficult seasons I draw closest to God.  It is paradoxical; God is made most sweet in times that are most bitter.  I can appreciate that God has the universe wired this way.  Still part of me would much rather skip these seasons of testing and settle for God-lite.  Unfortunately God-lite doesn’t improve character or slam one up against one’s own pride.  There’s no need for a great big God when I’ve got little ole me running the show so-very-smoothly!

It is easy to lose perspective.  Feels like it’s always been this way.  There’s no way out.  I’ll be sucked down into the vortex; ever spinning, more and more out of control until it all collapses.  The bills are overwhelming and getting a handle seems impossible.  The rental-property is an ever depressing source of bad news; termites, tenant-problems, increased premiums, asbestos in the attic.  To easy for it to color everything if I let it.

Viewed from a different angle it’s been a great month.  The wife and I had a number of weekends filled with visiting friends and family.  The daughter and I got away to the beach Saturday where a close friend and pro-photographer shot her Senior pics.  I could write line-on-line of the blessings experienced even this last week.  That being said I suspect I’m wired like everyone else and the stressors overwhelm and shade all the rest of life.

I’m forced face up against fear and overwhelmed by events out of my control.  For help, for comfort, for Rock and Shield I spend more time in prayer.  Because God speaks through His word I find in myself an increased hunger for reading the Bible.  On top of these I pile on Spurgeon and Piper.  Perspective is gained, right focus restored—though not without struggle.  In this oven of trial the sweet taste of God comes forth.  He is made sweeter in seasons most bitter.    

Monday, March 09, 2015

Freud and Undersea Diving

What would Freud think?  Twelve years old and what I want most is to climb into a dark, round metal dirigible and be submerged into the ocean.  It’s one of the few times my parents said, “No.”  And it’s the one that I remember—still.  

 Week after week, while mom and dad sat on the couch and my sister and I sat on the floor, Jacques Yves Cousteau explored that first frontier.  It was the early 70’s; we’d gone into space and landed on the moon.  Trips into space were difficult to comprehend.  Trips down into the depths of the ocean were broadcast into my living room.  .  Rod Serling provided terse commentary; we were right there with the crew on Calypso!  This was no Sea Hunt where we knew that every week Mike Nelson would save the world only to get the bends.  No, this was exploration in full Kodachrome color; a mix of science, adventure and wonder.  Oh the wonder; who knew that such creatures existed—or such dangers lurked at such depths?

This was a modern Bathyscaphe, a balloon-like diving saucer such as the one the crew of Calypso used.  There it sat on the pier in Santa Barbara.  One could be submerged in it; for a price.  I suspect the price was the reason my parent said no.  I remember little else but what shows in my mind’s eye; a steel balloon, a pier and a chance to dive deep under the water.  Still I wonder if I’d taken that dive---would my life be different?

I wanted to become a marine biologist up into my senior year of high school.  Then I found out that marine biologists had to take extensive chemistry and math courses.  I’d gotten a ‘D’ in Chemistry in Mr. Gobble’s class---only escaping an ‘F’ because I was a nice student.  If I’d taken that dive would my drive have been stronger?  Would my love of exploration been cemented?  Wanderlust was with me in the womb; would this have lit that drive up like a space-ship; changing my life’s trajectory forever?

It’s a series of the no’s and the yes’s that set our lives on their courses.  Serling would say it’s the signposts that cause us to choose the straights and the turning.  Those turns may have been tragic or filled with wonder.  Id and ego; self and sacrifice.  We are a glorious mix of all those crossroads.  Looking back one can ponder; living the adventure ahead—so much greater!