Life just keeps surprising me. How did we ever think things could be static, or even predictable? I guess in some ways the chaos theory is accurate, and you just never know what’s coming around the corner.
There were about 10 years in my life where things seemed to be pretty calm, and predictable (of course years later my wife informed me that was a very subjective view of our life). There was a time when I thought, “Life doesn’t get any better than this. I surf every day, race motocross bikes, and play in a band. I’m married to the girl of my dreams and have a son. I’ve met Jesus, and He’s giving me a try at following Him. What else could possibly be better?” Funny how we interpret life as sucking or being the bomb based on “our” feelings and getting what “we” want from it.
It took some time, or should I say it’s taking some time, but I’m beginning to see that the Kingdom is so much more than my own, self-centered, ego-driven, aggrandizement. I mean lose your life and you’ll really find it? Give me a break. I guess that’s exactly what He will do…give you a “break.”
Limping along in life is not as lonely as it would seem, if you’ll open your eyes. All of us limp, it’s just that some of us keep our eyes closed and don’t realize there’s a bunch of company to be had right next to us. Of course if we keep our eyes closed we’ll think we’re running a marathon instead of barely moving (that can do wonders for the ego).
The last 10 years has been one surprise after the other. Some of them have been very hard, and painful. Others are just adjustments you must make in life to get by. I think I’m beginning to realize that surprises, even if they cause me to limp a little more, are God’s way of telling me I’m not in control and I should take this relationship with Him seriously. If we’re not careful fear will begin to paralyze us and we’ll try to avoid the surprises of life. In reality, we can’t.
Henri Nouwen says, “Walk and don’t be afraid. Don’t want to have it all charted out for you. Let it happen. Let something new grow. That is the walk of faith – walking with the Lord, always walking away from the familiar places.”
The church, at least for most of history, seems to want to live in a bubble away from the surprises that, ordinary fragile men and women have to contend with every day. The church bubble doesn’t protect us from reality. It usually, in my humble opinion, only perpetuates and festers an unreality that promotes denial and a retreat that just furthers the non-believer’s skepticism.
Believer or non-believer, we all walk with a limp. It’s just that one of them realizes the limp isn’t terminal.