Monday, September 03, 2012


As quickly as the four oldest children are putting away blocks, the two little ones are flinging them out. They are screaming at a fever pitch and running and, now, finally, throwing the blocks across the room.One considers getting up and waving the arms and trying to reverse the inevitable path of destruction and woe, but then one's blood pressure would rise and one might have a stroke or something.

I've recently been readings Proverbs and Ecclesiastes and wondering why God's present will allows the running out of things and their constant replenishment. The jar of oil starts out full but runs empty and you have to take the trouble to get more oil to put in the jar so that eventually it can run out and you can do it again...and again...and again. The circle of emptiness and fullness is built in to our lives firmly, fixedly. I'm going to get new paper and markers for the Sunday School rooms, and stickers and folders and new beans for pouring so that they can all be used up and ruined and thrown away.

Many days this irritates me. I just swept the floor. I don't want to do it again so soon. The children just put the school room in order. Now they are having to do it again because of their tyrannical and grimy siblings. We just bought oil last week. And rice. Didn't want to have to buy it again so soon.

And so it is, under the sun.
So much so that its hard to imagine things going on forever and not getting ruined. Imagine creation not in a cycle of death but in no cycle at all, just in worship. Frankly, I have no idea what that will look like. Will the pleasure of getting something put right still be there if it is never broken and needing to be fixed? Without the emptiness, we don't know the pleasure of filling the jar. Irritation on one hand, pleasure on the other. It doesn't say, at your right hand are first irritation and then pleasures forever more, just the pleasures forevermore and also the fullness of joy.

But then also, it doesn't say much about circles in scripture. Sure, we see them everywhere, even in the relationship of God and his people, it seems like an endless circle of sin and forgiveness. But the writers of scripture more often talk about paths, or roads. "You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore." A path goes somewhere. The jar empties and is filled along the way, but the path itself doesn't circle. We either go towards God and his pleasures or away from him. I imagine the circle gets tighter and more frustrating the farther we go from God. Well, when I'm bent on a path of destruction, not wanting to look God in the face, for whatever reason, my own steps generally become more circular and futile. Then God comes and breaks the circular motion and "makes me know the path of life." Just as I, now, will go break in on these two babies and put them to bed. Let the circle be broken, as some might say.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Your post reminded me of Cursillo. At one Cursillo I attended, a candidate said that he imagined that might be what heaven was like. Total communion with God. How wonderful to imagine. Life without strife or worry. Being totally satisfied and fulfilled by that communion. Heaven indeed.