Why is it that when we walk into a kitchen and look at the floor, backsplash, or countertop we instantly recognize if it is hand-laid tile or prefabricated? For the answer, walk into that same kitchen with the one who laid the tile. As we admire the collective beauty, they lament their various minute mistakes. It is only the experienced craftsman that comes to rest and delight in the hope that the sum total of the numerous mistakes ultimately communicates authenticity.

God said Job was perfect. The circumstances of Job’s life, as well as his reaction to them, were anything but flawless, and yet God saw him as a “perfect and upright man(Job 1:8). Noah was a “righteous man(Genesis 6:9), Abraham was credited with “righteousness(Romans 4:3), Zacharias and Elizabeth were “righteous before God…blameless(Luke 1:6), even Lot is remembered as “righteous(1 Peter 2:7). Were the lives of these men and women void of struggles in trust and obedience? Certainly not. And yet, God rested and even delighted in the understanding that the sum total of their numerous struggles ultimately communicated authenticity.

I find that all too often I want God to roll out my life like a prefabricated sheet of linoleum. I don’t mind an aesthetically pleasing pattern, but keep it consistent and predictable. I incessantly balk at the vicissitudes He introduces into the construction of my fellowship with him. But, God is not in the business of prefabricated lives. He lays out the individual narratives of our existence one tile at a time. He is the master artisan who delights in the authenticity of hand-crafted life.

Perhaps if we could discipline our view of individual struggles, fostering a meta-narrative perspective, we too could rest and delight in the authenticity of life in step with God.

There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. -­Romans 8:1­


Sharon said...

It is good to have a new post that speaks so deep to our hearts :) Thanks for taking the time to do so--we know how time is a very precious commodity these days!

Could you please send us your E-mail address--so we can "Keep you in the loop" about George :)

Hope your day is going well :)
Love you,
Sharon and George

Libby said...

Vicissitudes?!? The fact that you use words like this shows everyone that God didn't just roll out the linolium!

Tim Walker said...

That’s funny. I rarely use words like this – they are somewhat above my paygrade. I was recently exposed to this word reading Lee S. Shulman’s The Wisdom of Practice, and was intrigued with his use of it in suggesting that “narratives are the children born of a liaison between design and chance” (p 473). I took umbrage with the statement because I believe God to be purposefully at work in the design of all our circumstances, thus my reluctance to give chance credit or glory for any of the things that happen to us. Shulman used “vicissitude” presumably as a synonym to chance, when by definition, it is quite different. Semantically, “vicissitude” allows us to speak of the changes in our circumstances without necessarily claiming divine intervention, yet comfortably avoiding the chaotic implications of “chance.” It is one of those cool words that essentially have no synonym. By the way, if I really was able to “use words like this,” I wouldn’t have had to spell check it in this paragraph... twice.

Libby said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Libby said...

lol =)