Saturday, February 6, 2010

Tape-delayed

I feel I need to apologize to the folks on the eastern part of this country.  The folks across the world.  All those who are having the worst winters in recorded history.  Like the other Washington.  England.  Even Finland where our relatives say that the snow plows have just given up, the icebreakers in the water never stop churning and with both dark and snow, it's pretty dismal, indeed.

I feel the need to apologize because the last few days I've been out of the house in shirt-sleeves and our daffodils are shooting up in the garden.  Last year we had more snow than we'd seen in our kids' lifetimes, but this year nary a flake.  All this while within view of our north windows in our very house are the mountains which will host the world starting next weekend.  Those mountains could have used the snow being dumped in the east today.  Instead, dump-trucks full of snow have been hauled across British Columbia to shore up all those courses skiers and snow-boarders will fly down in reckless abandon after that distinctive "Dah-DAH,du-DAH-DAH-DAH-DAH, dah-dah-du-DAH..." is played by some distinguished Canadian orchestra, a flame is lit over downtown Vancouver, and a flag with interlinking-circles is raised into the sky.  Yep, the world is coming to our backyard for the winter-Olympics and, oddly, our mountains don't have enough snow.

Here's another thing about the Olympics coming here.  Though Vancouver is the nearest large city to us, and though I commuted there to grad school for several years, and know part of the city well, know folks who live there, etc., not only do we need a passport to get there now (which reminds me, I have GOT to get mine renewed--it expires in April!), but because we have a satellite dish, we will see all events a full 8 hours after they've taken place.  I'm not kidding.  This has got to be the most annoying, strange part of these Olympics.  We could drive up there, see two events, have a nice meal, and get home in time to watch the same events on TV.  How ridiculous is that?

But sometimes I think that life in Christ has some 'tape-delayed' elements to it.  Not that God doesn't HEAR us the moment that we talk to Him.  Of course He does.  And He definitely walks through our lives with us moment by moment as they happen.  But much of what we experience we don't understand AS it happens.  We lose jobs we thought God had intended for us, relationships are broken we expected to last a lifetime, we begin ministries we think God has called us to and think will be successful.  And when these things happen we're at a loss about what God might possibly be up to.

But later, when we live a little more, when time passes, when another job, ministry, person, home, whatever are presented to us, one way or another, it's like what happens when we see that tape-delayed event on TV.  When you're sitting in a stadium or ski slope at an event, you only have your own eyes to see what's happening.  You only have the public-address-system announcer giving any kind of information.  But later, with the gift of hind-sight, you have the opportunity to see things you missed.  It's like having instant replay to catch that triple-salchow in slow-motion. Or another angle to see the puck actually go through the goalie's bent knees and into the net.  And there's the advantage of others--experts--who were at the events and can help explain what happened.  There's a wisdom, God says, in a multitude of counselors.  And all these things are those 'counselors', perhaps.

I still don't like the idea of tape-delayed games of any kind.  I admit that.  But I'm also willing to admit if that's the way things come--in the Olympics or in life--I'll take them. And trust that God doesn't delay things unless it's for my good.  "The One who calls you is faithful, and He will do it." 1 Thessalonians 5:24

PS.  For the young woman who had to get rid of an adorable white puppy nine years ago, and still misses him, I just want to say, thank you.  We never expected that when we said we'd care for him until a home could be found, that ours would be his forever home, but we're very thankful it has been.  In a way, it's one of those tape-delayed things, that you couldn't keep him because he was meant to be ours. So perhaps--when the time is right--you'll someday have a big ol' lug of your own.  Until then, here's another picture of your Jackson:

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