Avoiding the ditch

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Bob and I were riding our road bikes several years ago, yes, dare I say, spandex and all.  I had purchased a cute yellow Trek at a garage sale that I was pretty excited about.  Let’s go!  One day, we were sailing along quite well on a two-lane highway when half a house flew by on an “oversized” (you could say that again!) load—it had to pull into the other lane to get around me.  I figured the other half was right behind, so I did the natural thing…I looked behind.

Now, experienced riders (which I am not) can do that without losing their cycling “line”.  Me?  I ended up going full speed into the ditch, which I could have ridden out of, except for a driveway’s concrete culvert a few feet ahead. 

Needless to say, the concrete won. 

So I relate to this story about King David bringing the Ark of the Covenant, the ancient symbol of Yahweh’s presence, into the capitol.  He had put it on an ox-cart, and they were making their way with much celebration and glee, until the unthinkable happened…

“…the oxen stumbled, and Uzzah reached out his hand to steady the Ark. Then the LORD’s anger was aroused against Uzzah, and he struck him dead because he had laid his hand on the Ark.” 

Obviously, this caused quite a stir:

“David was angry…[he] was now afraid of God, and he asked, ‘How can I ever bring the Ark of God back into my care?’”

Yep, that’s it.  I get (what I think is) a good idea, God will like this one, and BOOM!  Off I go, zero to sixty in three seconds—

—only to end up in the ditch.  Then it’s really easy to blame God for my ignorance and rashness (which hurt not only myself, but the other Uzzah’s in my life as well!)

David was a warrior, a prolific songster, and a mighty king, BUT…he wasn’t a priest.  Perhaps in his unbridled passion, he neglected to ask those “in the know”.  Consider what happened when his royal predecessor, King Saul, acted as priest instead of waiting for Samuel to arrive as instructed.  (Things did not go well.) No one can deny that David was an enthusiastic individual, and truly had a heart for his God.  But even so, it is tantamount that we seek His guidance first and wait patiently for His timing.  Thankfully, David didn’t give up.  It was a good plan, it just had to be God’s plan:

“Then he commanded, ‘No one except the Levites may carry the Ark of God. The LORD has chosen them to carry the Ark of the LORD…We failed to ask God how to move it properly.’”

The information had been available but it’s possible that, after all these years of waiting and struggling to even survive, they were so taken up with this pending coronation (they had been doing some pretty seriously partying for three days prior), David overlooked this very important concept (that was penned by his future son, Solomon, BTW.  Maybe the son was learning from his dad’s mistake?)—

“Enthusiasm without knowledge is no good; haste makes mistakes. People ruin their lives by their own foolishness and then are angry at the LORD.”bikes

Kinda wish I still had that bike.  (Unfortunately, I still have the spandex…)

1 Chronicles 13: 9,10; Proverbs 19:2,3  Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Fireworks optional

carpediemI will admit it here, I watch the TV show “Agent Carter”.  And what a heroine she is, flawed but keeps on swinging (literally) and the bad guys are just no match.  There is a part in a recent installment where the uncontainable “Zero Matter”, some ancient force that manifests itself as swirling black ink, infects one of the other good guys, but because it is so powerful an entity, the Zero Matter explodes through his body.  (No gore, since the guy is inexplicably okay, thanks to Hollywood…)

Not so in the real world of uncontainable forces; just ask Hiroshima, Japan.  I’m not a bomb expert, but I think there’s something about juxtaposing a few disagreeable components inside a metal container, and when the prescribed reaction takes place, the metal container no longer exists, at least in its original form. 

Uncontainable force is something the Israelites knew a little about also.

“The LORD said to Moses, “Warn your brother, Aaron, not to enter the Most Holy Place behind the inner curtain whenever he chooses; if he does, he will die. For the Ark’s cover— the place of atonement— is there, and I myself am present in the cloud above the atonement cover.”

Without racking up my word count on Old Testament types and shadows, suffice it to say the Bible is pretty clear that God is uncontainable.  So, in a sense, He is speaking metaphorically here, trying to get a point across on a level they can understand.  (He has to do that with me all the time.)  I used to think this had more to do with God being angry at our presumption upon His presence.  Now, however, I think the point He was trying to make had more to do with protection; i.e., humankind, in our fallen state, no longer had the capacity to “be” with this Definition of Life they called “Yahweh”. 

Too much life??  Yes.  Uncontainable Life, beyond our imagination.  Life that created the Universe.  Life that instills the human soul within the human womb.

There was a time when I lamented that I didn’t “feel” God enough, and His response was that if He allowed to me to “feel” Him fully, I would be flat on my face and no good for anybody.  Incapacitated.  Even in our redeemed state, on this side of eternity we are not capable to fully appreciate His presence; there is only One man who could:

For God in all his fullness was pleased to live in Christ…”

I write this by way of encouragement for all my fellow “non-emotional” semi-introverts who bemoan a seeming lack of demonstrative response.  Our heart-passion for God is shown in the decisions of the will, not in the level of enthusiasm or the number of tears.

But then there’s Heaven….

 

Leviticus 16:2; Colossians 1:19  Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Keys have power

neuschwanstein-castle-467116_1280I have a tendency toward what my husband calls “giving away the store”.  I don’t know if it’s just a social insecurity in me to be thought of as “Really Nice” (whatever that is), or an honestly enthusiastic approach to people and projects, or just too much caffeine.  But it gets me into trouble.

Evidently, I’m in good company.  Not that it makes my personality flaw any easier, but perhaps I can hold the mirror to my face for a closer inspection:

Backstory—King Hezekiah had experienced a divinely miraculous delivery from a formidable enemy nation, after which God had also spared his life from a mortal illness.  Breathing a huge sigh of relief, he sorta let Continue reading “Keys have power”

I have a problem…

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I have a problem.  Wait, I’ll call it a challenge since it doesn’t sound quite so sinister.  It’s actually a blessing…and a curse.  So here is my humble confession:

I’m enthusiastic.

Which, all things being equal, is not generally considered a bad thing.  If you’re a cheerleader, that is.

And I never was, a cheerleader I mean, at least not in the “rah-rah-go-team”, pom pom and kicks sort of way.  But I have a recognized (dare I say ICD-9 coded??) innate ability to grab onto a project, or a Continue reading “I have a problem…”