Thoughts Heading Home From Christmas

I mentioned last night in the blog that my family and I were watching Monk. Now my mother and my roommate and I were downstairs when the latest new one that was a Christmas episode also came on called “Mr. Monk and the Miracle.” My mother saw it and said “Oh! I remember this one this is the one where…” and she proceeded to tell a little bit about what happened.

I smiled and told her it was also one my roommate had never seen before.

We didn’t get to see the whole episode as we had to go pick up my grandmother, but I did end up on the way back home that day telling him what happened seeing as he had had his curiosity piqued. I thought about that later though and thought “I am thankful the greatest author of all leaves a lot of the plot open without telling us everything that’s going on.”

Sometimes, we all wish he would, but he’s a good author. I’m thankful he doesn’t.

On the way back, my roommate and I were both exhausted and I was doing the driving. Now we’d had a close call on the way there. We’d had to take an area of at the most I’d say 200 feet at a traffic light and cross two lanes suddenly to get to a turn-off. Downtown traffic in a major city is murder. It doesn’t help that I can’t really turn my head and I needed him to be my eyes for me.

On the way back, he fell asleep some of the way and I thought about that. I thought that he was calm enough and trusting enough with me that he could rest easily even though I, the best driver in the world, was not driving. Then I thought back on myself and wondered, “How often do I sometimes stay up at night or wake up at night because I’m worried about something in my life?”

It made me ponder that if only I could trust God as much as my roommate was trusting me then. Now I think I’m a pretty trustworthy guy, but I can assure you of this. I have far more reason to trust in God than my roommate could ever have to trust in my ability or in me in any way. I took that as an object lesson to work on recognizing that I need to trust God more and relax in him and believe that he is looking out for me.

One part of our journey was through the mountains and as we got to them, I thought about what a wonder it was. Somehow, sights like those dwarf us automatically. Yet I considered first off the biblical statement of how if you believe and pray a mountain be cast into the sea, it will be done for you.

Now I’m not going Word of Faith nonsense here. I don’t believe the mountain is literally supposed to do that, but I think the Lord was getting at how the greatest things that dwarf us so much are nothing compared to the power of God and if we trust in God, then he will take care of them. 

A mountain is an apropos example. It’s something great and majestic and you imagine what it would be like if you could get a mountain to be hurled into the sea. You would think that nothing would be impossible for you. Could it be Christ is trying to tell us that all things are possible with God so trust him in prayer?

The second thought was of how the medievals said that one man is worth more than the entire universe. I believe they were right, but you look at the mountains and you feel so dwarfed and then realize that God considers you worth much more than them.

I also watched as we left late in the afternoon to see the sky turn from blue to black as day became night. It’s an odd thing as you notice it happening, but at the same time, you don’t. You just look up and realize that it’s darker than before as the Earth is making its turn. Then you realize that it’s night.

I’ve been told that if you put a frog in boiling water, it’ll jump out immediately. However, if you put it in water and gradually boil it, you can cook the frog alive and until it’s too late, it won’t realize what is happening to it.

I thought if the church was like that also. I’m quite sure we are. We’ve had our moment in the sun so much that the world gradually grew darker and darker and we didn’t really pay attention and we’ve suddenly woken up and it’s night all around us. It’s a shame we haven’t paid attention. Is it too late for the church in America? My advice is to act like it isn’t.

Towards the end of the journey, I was counting on my roommate to provide the directions. He’s got an IPhone and if you don’t know, those have GPS capabilities. Well, I’m a control-freak in some ways I think. When I’m on the road, I like to know exactly what the next exit I’m supposed to go to is and how far away it is so I can start looking and calculating the distance and how long it’ll be. 

My roommate does not give such information, which I think is for the best for me and it taught me a lot about trust.

I had to trust him the whole way but as I thought about it, he had to trust me also. He was giving the directions, but I was the one behind the wheel and we had to rely on each other, which I think is a good definition of friendship as well. What benefit would it be for him to give me the wrong directions and how would it benefit me if I was to drive haphazardly? Of course, that doesn’t mean we each did it for our own benefit. Sharing a mutual goal, we both had to work together and that is also in friendship. I believe Aristotle said that one thing friends do is help each other on the path to becoming more virtuous.

As I got home that Christmas, I had a lot to think about. I had to think about God in ways that you can only realize I believe with the help of others. What does it mean to trust? What does it mean to be trusted? What does it mean to rely on your friends? What can be done to make a difference for the church?

I have much to think about, and I hope you have much to think about as well.

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