God with us in all things…


The other day I read a story about Captain and Tenille, the husband/wife group, getting divorced after 36 years of marriage. And, of course, we wonder why? While out shopping a couple days earlier, in a parking lot, two cars nearly collided, and the venom that spewed from both cars was horrible. And finally, in the tennis world, at the Australian Open, tennis players still apologize when they win a point with the ball clipping the net.

Somehow, you wonder, he’s going to knit all these things together. And you’d be right. But what could they have in common? I think that we’re not willing to apologize, or accept apologies, very willingly these days. And I think we’re all too involved with getting our own slice of this earthly pie. I saw that guy, who almost caused the accident, later in the warehouse store collecting his pizza. I don’t know if he cut the other guy off, or just didn’t see him, or whatever, but all I could think was “all those gestures and words to get a pizza?” When I’m wrong, and I often am, I’m the first to admit it, even if I don’t see it very well myself. I’ll take the blame, even if it’s not my fault. In fact, when I do something that turns out to be wrong, I examine it, backtracking to see where I went wrong, so it won’t happen again. So if the guy had just capitulated, said I’m sorry with a wave, and gone on, there wouldn’t have been the commotion in the parking lot.

I think we’re all too busy pursuing earthly things, failing to remember that our lives on this earth are journeys. This life is a bridge to heaven. And if you can look past the pain and sometime uncomfortable misery (as they’re experiencing in 2/3 of the country right now) to what lies ahead, it’s a heck of a lot easier to look past all those issues. Besides, every journey has its challenges, and overcoming them is part of the story of that journey…

Several years ago, we went on a trip to French Polynesia, for vacation. There’s no direct flights from here to there, so we had to catch a short hop to LAX, and then go through international customs. In the process, there’s the struggle with documents, the lugging of…luggage (of course), the sleepiness, and everything. And plane travel isn’t so fun anymore, not for someone 6’3″. But when all is said and done, you get on the airplane, the wheels come up into the belly of the plane, and your vacation begins. This was particularly memorable. On this airline, the attendants wear old-fashioned uniforms until the plane takes off, then they switch to island wear. Very transforming. And then, somewhere over the Pacific, there was that sunset. We looked out the window, and you could see every color God gave us in the sunset, from the bright yellow sun itself all the way to the deep indigo of the night. Several hours later, we were in paradise.

This is a microcosm of life before eternal life. Everything in the universe is temporary, only life with God is eternal. And to get to that life, we must pass the tests our life on earth gives us. By the way, congratulations to Li Na and Stan Wawrinka, the Australian Open winners. Rafa Nadal couldn’t overcome a back injury. But he’s such a character, he’ll be back soon, I’m sure.

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