Yesterday I was told of a young woman who was accepted to become a State Trooper. Now, she had a career and a life direction about which she was confident and excited. Her first step was to attend the police and fire academy in Sitka.
One of my favorite illustrations from long ago (I don’t use it much any longer even though it still applies) was to act out with vocal explosions and facial expressions, the installation of time bombs in our lives. Since I’ve parked several of the torpedos myself, I felt I was an authority. (No one has argued so far.) Setting and placing a time bomb refers to making a decision that will eventually produce painful results. It explodes! Until it does, it ticks quietly in the background.
Some decisions have instant consequences like touching a hot stove top to see if it is on. Others like infidelity that leads to divorce, tick ominously but ignored until the children reveal they have no desire to be in relationship with the unfaithful parent after they become adults themselves. Pain. We all live with it. It can’t be escaped. Well, we can escape the pain from the bombs we set in our own lives at least. Just don’t set the bombs.
The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.
This is I think one source of the problem. When we are young and confident, we are certain that we can do it without consequences. One reason is that the consequences don’t always happen. Friends smoke pot for a few years and don’t move on to more dangerous drugs and don’t suffer any obvious deterioration in intelligence. A few times won’t hurt me either. Especially me because of a certain superiority and self control that I possess. Then there was that one kid whom I warned that pot was a potential gateway to places he did not want to go. His eyes told me “you don’t know nothin.” He was unlucky. His bomb exploded and he became a heroin addict.
The other source from which come “time bomb decisions” is our fundamental sin nature which is selfish, self absorbed, and egocentric. We will accept potential future pain if we get some pleasure right now. Besides, it’s only potential pain. Maybe it won’t happen?
Some lives lay so many bombs that explode randomly (it seems) that their lives are a mess. What happens then? Blame God. If He loved me, these things wouldn’t happen. Actually those things would not have happened if we had resisted touching the stove. There are plenty of bad things that happen just because the world is broken. Add to that the stuff we break and no broom is sufficient to clean it up. We need a redeemer. Someone big enough to make something out of a disaster and strong enough not to create disasters of His own.
The young woman going to the academy went to a party, drank too much, drove home, was pulled over by a policeman, received a DUI ticket and was dropped from the program. What are the odds she would be caught? 100% for some of us. What does she do now? She turns to the Redeemer of messes who fixes the broken. He doesn’t always repair the problem but He will fix us.
“Where does your security lie? Is God your refuge, your hiding place, your stronghold, your shepherd, your counselor, your friend, your redeemer, your saviour, your guide? If He is, you don’t need to search any further for security.”
Job 19: “As for me, I know that my Redeemer lives,
And at the last He will take His stand on the earth.
26 “Even after my skin is destroyed,
Yet from my flesh I shall see God;