It might seem a bit early to be declaring spring, but I heard a spring bird calling out a few days in a row in the past couple weeks. The willows are already turning red as the sap is ramping up in their stalks.
Along with this time of year comes the warm and cold, we go into the pluses in the day and the minuses in the night. The snow and ice melt in the warm and then freezes at night and melts and freezes over and over, then we get ice slicks all over the place. Walking around at our place is a tricky procedure, I often wear ice cleats just to get around or walking to the car.
On Sunday it rained, hard, on top of the ice. I was walking out of church and headed down the sidewalk and wham, the next thing I know I am staring at the sky. I felt my butt and elbows hit first, followed by my head hitting the sidewalk behind me. Faster than fast, I was down! I have not fallen like that in years. I managed to sit up and looked beside me, I had hit so hard that my purse had bumped off the ground and spilled the contents out of the top and scattered the sidewalk.
I moved slowly and collected the purse items and proceeded to gingerly get up keeping my feet off the ice. Whew! Nothing felt broken and I hobbled my way over to the car, dripping wet because of the rain and water I had fallen onto.
This week I am nursing a sore butt, elbows, and a really sore neck but it could have been so much worse!
I talked to 2 people today who know someone who has fallen this past week and broken bones.
As I was picking myself up off the sidewalk, I realized that that is exactly how fast life can change; in the blink of an eye, a slip of the foot. On one hand we relish spring with the newness and growth it brings, but on the other hand, it can be a really messy time of year, dangerous even.
As I ponder this new, messy time it reminds me that with every change, whether welcomed or not there is new and mess at the same time, a good and bad scenario.
Picture it like railway tracks, parallel and straight, running beside each other for miles. That is how Spring and change come, bringing both the mess and the new at the same time.
Think of bringing a new baby into the world – such joy, delight fills your heart each time you see your little one. But at the same time, laundry day and mess begin to take over. I remember smelling sour milk on my clothes for years it seemed! Toys scattered all over the floor, cringing when the crying went on longer that I could handle. It was utter delight and utter mess all at the same time!
How about moving to your dream home? Thinking of it fulfills your dream, you cannot wait to be in your new home where you can put your special touches on it. But first…. Pack up, move, unpack and put away. Boxes, paper, bubble wrap, sore back and muscles, finding things up to 3 years later that you wondered where it went. We have been in the trailer for over a year and we know we are still missing at least one kitchen box. Joy and delight, new and the mess all at the same time.
Jesus brought joy and mess all at the same time when He came to earth.
Jesus was a Jewish man. Born and raised in a Jewish home with the Jewish rules and values.
Everywhere Jesus went He brought great joy as people were healed, saved and witnessed miracles and savoured His presence and teachings. At the same time the Jewish religious rulers were ticked off at this man, who had the audacity to break some of the Jewish rules. Heaven forbid, that He actually healed people on the Sabbath day. A day set apart to do no work at all, and rest and they watched Him heal. How thrilled the healed person must have been to be released from their physical bondage and affliction. How annoyed were the leaders of the synagogue that saw Jesus as a trouble maker. Joy and delight and mess and anger at the same time, over the same situation.
As people we tend to be divided. Some of us focus on only the one railway track that is negative, the mess, the hard, the affliction of the situation.
The other half look only at the joy and delightful side of the track, they live on feelings and emotions, life is grand and they are good.
But a train cannot run on only one track, it will fall off the rail. A train needs 2 tracks, the same distance apart to be able to move ahead or even back up. It is the bigger picture, the complete picture.
I am finding that as we read the Bible, or are taught the Bible that we often only look at one of the tracks, we tend not to look at the other side. We focus on what we think we know, our perception, the filter that our eyes grew up with, or our family or church ingrained into us. This can cause divisions and rifts in our families, in our churches and relationships. Neither is possibly “wrong”, it is just that we are only seeing one track.
God has the advantage of looking down on situations and can see past, present and future, He truly has the big picture. God has no need of train tracks to keep Him on the rails – God does not de-rail, ever.
When I cannot understand something or find a concept hard to fathom, I tend to sit back and ask God to show me His angle, His perspective and I try really hard to wait for Him to answer instead of running ahead thinking I know what to do. Rarely, if ever does God come up with the plan I thought was so good.
God is God, I am not, and sometimes He wants us to know that because at times when we run forward with an only one track view, we get de-railed and end up flat on our backs staring at the sky, wondering how we got there.