February 8, 2021

A Word about the Word-

For now, we know in part, and we prophesy in part, but when the perfect comes, the partial will come to an end. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put aside childish things. For now, we see only a reflection as in a mirror, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I will know fully, as I am fully known…. [1 Corinthians 13:9–12]

 

“Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror…” (from the New Living Translation of verse 12 above). Lack of clarity or understanding may describe our comprehension when it comes to the big questions. Whether it’s the “whys” of a loved one’s illness or the problem of pain or the effects of COVID-19 or the sweeping injustices and disparities in the world, we are often left simply scratching our heads. 

I mean, why does a good and fair God give Tom Brady not only amazing talent but also stunning good looks at the ripe old age of, what? 64? 🙂 It’s just not fair.

Some months ago, we watched Frozen II with our granddaughter Mila and her parents. I didn’t find it as engaging as the first Frozen. (I don’t think Mila did either; she wasn’t singing the songs ad infinitum like she was after the first movie.) But there was one song in Frozen II that speaks of our dilemma of understanding life in these long days of the pandemic. 

The song is sung by Olaf, the cute and insightful snowman. The lyrics reflect what we have been dealing with for almost a year now: the uncertainty of things under the COVID-cloud and our attempts to stay positive and make plans. For Olaf, things have gotten gloomy and bizarre and he is trying his best to convince himself that everything’s just fine. One day he may understand. His song would be fitting, not just for Mila to sing, but for all of us during these pandemic months:

 

This will all make sense when I am older
Someday I will see that this makes sense
One day, when I’m old and wise
I’ll think back and realize
That these were all completely normal events

I’ll have all the answers when I’m older
Like why we’re in this dark, enchanted wood
I know in a couple years
These will seem like childish fears
And so I know this isn’t bad; it’s good.

 

Sounds like the Apostle Paul’s words above. Life is hard and, at times, crazy and befuddling. And this side of heaven we often have no clue or explanation as to what is going on or why. But we know the One who does. The promise is that when Christ returns (or even when we die), God’s plan and wisdom will prevail, and things will actually be clear. 

For now, we see things quite blurrily. And yet, as we trust our good and sovereign Lord, we can live with a lightness of being (like Olaf), believing that one day, “in the twinkling of an eye” (not necessarily when we are older), all of our fears and questions will be erased by the beauty of Christ.

 

Close to Home

On Sundays (and I hope throughout the week), we are discussing the “Rhythms” of our spiritual lives. This Sunday, we will approach the topic of fasting. Have you ever done it? Weighty issues connected to fasting are personal idols and discipline. Fasting is like a wise tutor asking us, “If you can’t control your stomach, or your eyes, or your imbibing, or your media consumption, which are all visible, physical things, then why do you think that you can control spiritual things like your will and your heart?”

 

The World as It Is

If an alien were watching the Super Bowl with its many “feel good” commercials and a halftime show that at times bordered on a weird, almost cult-like vibe, I think he would conclude that we are quite a troubled and confused people. And that we are trying to cope with our condition with odd gestures of kindness while grasping for meaning through forced sentimentalities. 

 

File this under “Not Sure What to Make of This”: According to American booksellers, the top-selling adult fiction book last week was George Orwell’s 1984.

 

A Final Thought

You didn’t think I was going to conclude this blog without giving you the clip of Olaf’s song, did you?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yS1y6gZFaog&feature=youtu.be

I’ll catch you on the other side.

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