Friday, May 05, 2006


Enjoying the Future

A while back, Lu's car blew up. She ended up defying my instructions, and bought a brand new one. Her approach to these things is based on assumptions much different from mine.

The last time I bought a car I did so through the mechanic who worked on my last one. He had a customer selling an Accord. I bought it for cash. High mileage, but it's a Honda, and if it blows up I'm not out much. Buying for the future, based on the past.

Bad things lurk in the fog ahead. I could lose my job, I could lose my apartment, etc. I don't want car payments to be a monthly millstone added to the list of things to go wrong. My confidence goes only about as far as I can reach.

Lu sees the same potential problems but to her they're no big deal. A new car to her, payments and all, is a gift from God for a better future. If she loses her job something else will come along. God will provide something as he provided a good deal on a new car. She pays the money, she gets reliability, a warranty, and various intangible things that echo within her soul.

Lu has bought a couch, too. Another investment in the future, another gift from God of a kind that is foreign to me. Sometimes I think I'm cutting-edge in my dependence upon God's demonstrated kindness, but this is kindness of a whole different order. God cares about comfort?

Well, yes, he does. He even gives us a living Comforter to stay with us. Comfort is another thing I don't believe in, though, because it has always been the precursor to even worse pain. Sometimes I wish my memory weren't so good. Especially for pain.

But none of that really matters because we're not talking about believing in belief. God isn't a balloon of desire that I keep pumped up by frantic action. God is Himself. He holds the universe in his hands, but the core of Christianity is simple. The demonstrated act of love 2000 years ago that has since been buried in human teaching and assumption is the only real thing in that huge heap. If you tunnel through it to behold the reality of Jesus on the cross, you see love in its highest expression. God did it.

He continues to do it whether I believe it or not. I share far too much with those dwarves sitting on the hillside in "The Last Battle," steadfastly refusing to be taken in by the beautiful lies they saw around them. Delicious food is turned into dirty straw, and Aslan's promise of a glowing future is simply ignored as they sit in a circle and reinforce each other's lack of vision.

Lu, I hope your new car brings you great delight. Thank you for your example. Maybe, some day before this millennium is out, I'll begin to really get it and cease my dependence on the austere world inside that dark stable.

God isn't a balloon of desire that I keep pumped up by frantic action.

That's a cool truth that I want to hold onto......freedom....looks different to and for each person.....He's that personal of a God right???....!
Ah... It's about time you blogged again. I've missed it, my friend.

Thanks for the wonderful reminder tonight that God provides. I spent part of the weekend buying new little odds and ends to go with my new couch -- almost bought an incredible end table, but then decided to think it over first. Good thing. I got a little carried away over the last couple of weeks spending on little things. Those little things added up and took some of the little pad I like to keep in my checking account. Time to tighten the belt again.

Old habits die hard. My old panick started to creep in again. What if something happens...???? I run the same scenarios in my head you do. What if lose my job? What if I'm in a bad accident?

Its from a lifetime of not knowing how much God really loves us. We live by the rules we learned as children. My dad loved me, but he himself had issues of trusting God's provision, even though he had stories of God miraculously providing. And my dad also had a habit of nickel and diming everything. I learned from dad that God nickels and dimes, and won't come to my aid unless I've been perfect. Its hard to unlearn that lesson at 40. I'm beginning to get there, but... well, I don't have it all tied up in a bow. Never will.

I need to hear reminders all the time that God really does love me, and really will help me even when I make really dumb financial decisions. Your post was a perfect reminder. Thanks!
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