Thursday, January 28, 2010

Haiti, Waterslides, Life and Matthew

I'm ashamed to admit that I haven't really followed the crisis down in Haiti. I have no excuse really. I'd see the little blurbs and hear the stories and for whatever reason, I would tune it out; ignore it. It never really cracked this callous shell that I built up to isolate myself from all of it. And tonight was the first time that I ever really looked at anything about it. I don't know where that came from, but I don't like it.

Which got me thinking about some things...

Over the last few days, my co-workers and I have been working on the waterslides at Sky Ranch. Using handheld paint scrapers, we've been slowly scraping the top layers away, trying to get to the fiberglass underneath. This in turn will allow those that know about such things to replace the plastic coating with a new coating that will allow kids to slide better. It has been hand-crampingly slow work, but as my friend, Kate, would readily attest, there are some things to gain from such work.

Primarily, if you can manage, you can find yourself working all by yourself. Just you, a scraper, and a stubborn piece of plastic coating. This in turn led me to let my mind wander as my fingers worked on auto-pilot. Scrape, scrape, scrape. So many life analogies.

Imagine you were the slide with the stubborn piece of plastic coating (it's a tan color to help you visualize). That plastic coating is your shield, put there to protect you from life's troubles. And you're happy with that shield. But then the scraper comes along and starts slowly and carefully chipping away at everything you were using to protect yourself. Everything you were holding on to is slowly, but deliberately, being removed. Fiberglass shards start flying. Large chunks are falling away. But it doesn't go smoothly.

It doesn't go smoothly....

It hurts....

And to me (and some others) this is Life. We have a tendency to make ourselves comfortable with this little life as we know it, content to hide behind all kinds of things to fool ourselves into thinking we're happy. And for the most part we succeed.

And then God comes along.

And He slowly starts chipping away at us. And it hurts.

But God is always right there next us, whispering, "I know it hurts. But I have something so much better for you. Please just trust Me."

Most of the time I think that we can't hear Him because we're too focused on the sounds of our own shattered kingdoms to notice.

Because it hurts.... because it isn't what we want.... because we don't understand it....

I don't understand the magnitude of earthquake in Haiti. I don't think anyone does. What came to mind when I tried to understand it all was Matthew 24:6-7:

6. You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see that you are not alarmed. Such things MUST happen, but the end is still to come.
7. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places.

There is a certain level of comfort in knowing that Jesus said all of this had to happen. It helps me to know that He is sovereign in all of this. I don't have to understand why it happened. Jesus knows why.

And He's in control...

The men were amazed and asked, "What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey Him!"
-Matthew 8:27

3 comments:

Stefanie Kellum said...

That was beautiful, Josh...you know, in the most manly and literary sense of the word haha. Nice analogy.

Courtney Hope said...

I like this. Very much :)

growingfreely said...

i'll say it again: totally what i needed to read.