Monday, November 21, 2011

Heading around the bend...

In the constancy of life's changes, it often seems as if tomorrow remains just out of view. Like the display of a video driving game the path zigs and zags without warning at times. To successfully navigate the course requires rapt attention to what is just coming around the bend. In these days of many changes, what is just coming around the bend seems to bring no relief from the pressure of the last year, but I know that the end of the course is my Savior and so the road is worth driving, the race worth running. To paraphrase an old friend: "keeping our eyes on the mark, the prize of the high calling of Jesus Christ" is the utmost goal. What tends to attack this deliberate focus is the small (or large, depending on the day) potholes just around the bend. They suddenly appear on life's screen, requiring swift and decisive action or it seems that they would stop all progress if hit head on. Too many times these potholes have turned out to be people, to my chagrin. If they were things, circumstances or other inanimate objects, it would be much easier to deal with. Some would merely require a slight shift in position to avoid contact, or some even would require just hitting them head on with a firm grip on the reality of life. But when people make up the potholes they tend to move, expand and contract and some even follow you around at a similar rate of speed causing constant tension. I have observed that when the local Public Works department handles a pothole they have a very specific procedure they follow. First, the pothole must be identified (cause, origin and extent). Then a plan is developed to repair....removal of loose debris, installation of firm fill, compaction and paving. The former pothole has no memory of being a hole, if properly handled, for there is no room in the former hole that is not occupied by the new firm fill and capped with the paving. The pothole is no longer...perhaps some remember where it was because they hit it once or twice before, but anyone else has no idea of what danger there lay. So it may be with the people potholes in life. The failure, betrayal and intended damage of their impact in life needs identification of the cause, origin and extent, then a swift plan for repair and restoration. Proper fill (God's Word), compaction (Holy Spirit instruction) and the paving (God's Armor) will handle any hole (person, place or thing) we then must just quit driving back to see if the hole is still there.
Speaking of still there...yep, they are. Why, is simple...the hole is not yet filled, compaction not yet complete and paving, still pending. It would seem that the Master Worker of all things public may still be in the process of removing loose, unstable debris from the hole. What appeared to be somewhat solid soil, turned out to be just someone else trying to get a free wedding reception. The seemingly stable massager and contractor turned out to be an avoider of taxes and a general scofflaws. The trusty trustees...anything but! The "pastor" of the local synagogue...collector of potholes and debris. The mousy bride...a source of Satan's influence.... And so the hole has enlarged and been evacuated, a process causing much concern as the hole seems to never be ending in its increase of size, but then the understanding comes that the hole must be free of instability or the hole will shortly appear again regardless of the appearance of the paving. I think oft of asking when will the repairs be complete, but then I am reminded that life IS the Goal just around the bend...and so, I choose to leave the pothole to the Master and just hang on as we are heading around the bend!!

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