Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Not An Even Trade

My father loved to travel. He instilled that love in his children and we in turn, instilled -- or tried to instill -- the same love in our children. Dad was the "let's-go-somewhere-let's-do-it-let's-fly-by-the-seat-of-our-pants" kinda guy. My mother, on the other hand, enjoyed traveling, but she was definitely the list maker. She was practical about almost everything. Especially the overpriced and extra tacky silvenirs (her word for souvenirs) that every gift shop from Disneyworld to Knott's Berry Farm peddled as "must-haves for commemorating your fun-filled family vacation." Mom would hover over us like -- well, a mom, making sure we made wise decisions with our money. She would always steer us away from the costly items that were in no way commemorative, but more akin to overpriced discount store items: beach towels, or jump ropes, or Chinese finger traps (fine if we were in China -- we were not). "Buy something that, at least has the name of the amusement park on it," she'd urge. "And don't bother with those games -- no one ever wins; they're all rigged. Oh, and don't use up all your money today. What will you do when we get to Cypress Gardens tomorrow?" Who goes on vacation to listen to a bunch of rules? Especially when it comes to spending my own money?!

As a kid, I hated it. As an adult, I did it. Oh, yes, I did. Not until I met Scott, did I learn the value of gradually allowing a child to make some of their own decisions -- good or bad -- under the safety of Mom and Dad's roof. But it was hard. What parent wants to see their child work hard and save even harder, only to wind up with some useless piece of broken crap at the end of the day?

I thought about this as I was reading the other day:
"They exchanged the truth about God for a lie." ~  Romans 1:25
"They have exchanged the glory of God for the shame of idols." ~  Hosea 4:7b
The truth about God is that He is loving and merciful. The truth about God is that all this chaos and calamity is not caused by Him, but it is the good things in life -- no matter how big or small -- that come from Him. The truth about God is that once you decide to seek Him, He shows Himself to you; and once He reveals Himself to you, if you decide to love Him, He works in your best interest -- always.

But there are some who have decided to ignore these truths. They'd rather believe He does not exist. He abandons people. He's some variation of Santa Claus, or high school headmaster. He is whatever  they want Him to be.

And then there are those, who know He exists. He lives in between the pages of their Bible, His Word; He doesn't get out much. He lives in church; they don't visit very often. He gets in the way: Sundays are their only day to sleep late; Sundays are the only day they can manage to get a decent tee time; Wednesday nights are their night to unwind. He'll still be there when they get older and can find time for all that religion stuff. He wants them to give up things they really enjoy.

Dad wanted us to experience something really exciting. Mom wanted us to never forget those
experiences. And while Mom was a shade neurotic, somewhat controlling, and a bit insecure, she just couldn't bear to see us wind up with a useless piece of broken crap at the end of the day. I don't think God does either.
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