Sunday, September 1, 2013

Letting In The Marauders

As a writer, a vivid imagination can be as valuable as the ability to type on a keyboard -- unless it descends in the middle of the night.  When all is dark and quiet -- or not so quiet -- one's imagination can play a stiff game of "what ifs?"  I woke up at 3.20 last night, wide awake and listening for the creaks and groans of the house.  "What was that?"  And my imagination opened the door to an army of "what if" marauders, dancing to old tunes and creating new fears.   "What if" opens the door to illusory fears of the unknown.

The Bible also speaks of a different kind of "what if," equally destructive.  Its other name is "murmuring."  That "what if" takes residence when we allow discontent to walk in our front door in all its many forms, such as "if only I was here -- or there --, if only I had a different job, spouse, child, figure, _______(fill in the blank), THEN I would be happy."  God delivered the Israelites from their Egyptian oppressors, parted the Red Sea for them, and within days, they were complaining, "Why, oh, why, did we leave Egypt where we had it so good?!?"

But my favorite "what if," opens up the world of possibility.  We have four daughters, all equally creative in different ways.  When they were growing up and confronted with problems, or limited resources, or a free afternoon like a box of Legos without instructions, they thrived in coming up with solutions.  "What if" was a game to them, no matter if it meant creatively combining ingredients for a recipe, or making up their own musical in the basement, or sewing together costumes from scraps of material.  "What if" became a freedom to them to reach beyond the ordinary, a contentment in what God can do.

And perhaps, that is what God intends for all of us.  What do I have here...?  God gives us new vision for what is right in front of us.

Now to Him
who by the power at work within us
is able to do far more abundantly
than all we ask or imagine...

                     Ephesians 3.20

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