IS IT HORROR OR HUMOR?
(Editor’s Note: This is a guest story by contributor June Windle Bare. Check out her last post, Rescue, right here. Enjoy today’s devotional!)
“He does everything just right and on time, but people can never completely understand what He is doing.” Ecclesiastes 3: 11 (NCV)
Get this visual in your mind: two octogenarians are racing to make their plane’s connection after arriving 40 minutes late from their previous flight. Rain had delayed the flight of origin, and the lag-time was scrunched into a mere 20 minutes. She opts to use the moving walkway; he runs alongside. They arrive, breathless, at the expected boarding site only to find out that it is the wrong concourse. Alright, turn around and run the other way. The correct one is two concourses over–actually next to where they had deplaned in the first place. this time they take the “plane train.” Stuffed like the proverbial sardines in a can, they lean into the other passengers as they are jet-propelled forward, holding onto the slippery stainless-steel poles to keep from climbing their neighbor’s torso. Then as the train screeches to a stop, they fall the opposite direction. Someone yells at him, “Hold the strap!” But she is too short to reach it. This sequence is repeated again until arriving at the correct concourse.
No need to ask why such things happen. God knows. Life happens. No need to question God on any of His doings, but it seems we all do. When life happens, it is better to lean into the happening and learn contentment. Whether it is pain or gain–you name it–we have two options: complain, developing anxieties and anger; or, look at it through the lens of Christ’s strength. Philippians 4: 11-13 gives us a clue:
“Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned to be content with whatever I have. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation whatever it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength. (NLT)
I don’t envision St. Paul as getting a big case of the horrors when he is being pelted with stones, when he is in stocks in a dungeon, or shipwrecked, or any of the myriad traumatic events in his life. Neither was he laughing. Not then. But he had a secret: he had learned Christ-contentment. With that kind of satisfaction, it would be no surprise if he was able to look back and visualize a bit of humor in the horror. Even better, his traumatic events have stood as an example to Christians and even the rest of the world for learning his secret.
What about your events? Merely viewing the thousands of faces in those concourses at the airport, horrors are written in many ways: vacant expressions; testy interactions; wheel-chairs and canes; tired mothers with restless children; rudeness; pushing and shoving. But on the other hand, there are smiles, civility, and people who tell you when your cell phone is still in the chair you had just occupied.
There is good. There is evil. There is life happening all around us. Can we face the whatever’s of St. Paul without horror and embrace the secret of Christ-contentment, and maybe even see a glimpse of humor along the way?
June is a retired nurse, poet, and widow, living in southern Georgia. Now in her eighties, she remains active in her local church. Among other church responsibilities, she teaches a Sunday school class of her peers. She writes a weekly blog on Facebook, entitled “Monday Musings.” Prior to moving to Georgia, she was a regular contributor to “The Watauga Democrat” newspaper, and “All About Women,” a monthly magazine, both in Boone, North Carolina.
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