That's what we're thinking about this week: death and taxes. I chuckle to think of it. We've been so blasted busy with life that we put off working on our taxes until this week, when we have Grampie's memorial service staring us in the face. So here we are, a living, breathing cliche'.
The adage goes (as quoted first by Benjamin Franklin), "In this world, nothing can be said to be certain except death and taxes." I've heard that in movies, read it in books, listened to people gripe the unquestionable truth of it. And every single time, I've thought, "NOT even close!"
You know where I'm going with this, but wait for it, okay?
First, let me say that until this year, Beve and I have never actually had to PAY taxes in April. We've always had children in our home or in college or dependent. But this year, none of those things apply. So we join the vast majority of adults who pay money to Caesar, so to speak. I have no problem with this, to tell the truth. I might wish our taxes weren't so high but I don't mind contributing to make our country run--roads, education and national parks better, for instance. It's a citizen's responsibility as much as voting is. It's also my right to question when the money we pay ISN'T working toward the ends that we believe are good. It's OUR country, isn't it?
And I also have no problem with the truth that death is certain. That's kind of a "Well, duh!" statement, isn't it? But just thought I'd clarify that the two parts of Franklin's famous quote are indeed fair and true.
But they aren't the only truths. What about sunrises? Tides? That spring follows winter and autumn follows summer? What about love? What about the need of humans for food and sleep and comfort? Yes, make exceptions for one of these and I'll give you exceptions for taxes. And trust me, there are loopholes. Human truths have far more loopholes than nature does.
"I AM the TRUTH," Jesus said.
I AM THAT I AM, said the one who spoke at the burning bush.
This is the one certainty. HE IS. This ontological statement of being reduces every other truth to ash. He stands and IS. We can count on that.
This week, while Beve and I prepare taxes and a memorial service, this is what we know, this Truth upon Truth--that HE is TRUTH. Everything He says, we can trust. That's what it means that He's truth. His word stands. His love is constant and never fails. He will not falter. He will never leave or forsake us. NOTHING can separate us from Him--NOTHING.
In the midst of all that the world throws at us, hold on to that.