Sunday, January 29, 2012

Back home

Well, the road-trip is over. 2,412 miles pulling a U-Haul trailer with a Toyota Corolla. That car is definitely not meant for that application, but it made it. I would like to offer cudos to the U-Haul folks. The original installer left the safety chains a bit low so they dragged on the ground. By the end of day 2 both were broken. I called the roadside assistance folks from a hotel in Amarillo, TX. The person I spoke with was very helpful. Within an hour a local U-Haul tech showed up in the parking lot and replaced both chains. Thanx, folks.
During my time away I had a lot of time for reading and reflection. One thing that came my way was another chapter of Spiritual Classics. This one was by Alan Paton, a South African clergyman. He wrote of the liberating reassurances in the Gospel. He noted that Jesus said that we are salt and light. "Things  might be dark but they were to  be the light of the world." I started to think about this and realized that there have been many words spoken and ink spilled on the topic of 'being light.' How does light work? What are the characteristics of someone who is light? Christ is the light of the world, and we are called to be partner luminaries. But, what of the dark? Not too many people discuss this. The darkness is the place that we all live. Yes, we bring light so that the darkness can be pushed back. But, the world is a dark and hostile place. We try to make it more comfortable, but, let's face it, we can't tame it. It is wild and foreboding. There is danger. There are all sorts of nasties: weather, earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanoes, etc. There is hatred, intolerance, war, poverty, violence of all kinds, greed, get my point. So, we ask, what has God done about it? God, the omnipotent? God, the omniscient? God, the omnipresent? Has God tamed the seemingly untameable? Is God capable? No. God has made us salt and light. When we ask, "God, when will you do something"? The Divine response is, "I was wondering the same of you." Paton wrote, "God moves in his own mysterious ways, but a great deal of the time he moves through us." We are light. But it is God who directs the beam. And, let's not forget that the light is the foreign element in this world. Darkness is the natural condition. But, the reign of God will overcome it.

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