Thursday, November 10, 2005

Who's in charge?

Atwater Falls in Franklin, NCMen did not recognise the craftsman while paying heed to his works; but they supposed that either fire or wind or swift air, or the circle of the stars or turbulent water, or the luminaries of heaver were the gods that rule the world. If through delight in the beauty of these things men assumed them to be gods, let them know how much better than these is their Lord, for the author of beauty created them. And if men were amazed at their power and working, let them perceive from them how much more powerful is the one who formed them. For from the greatness and beauty of created things come a corresponding perception of their Creator.Wisdom 13, 1-5

This is another of the waterfalls Cornelia and I saw recently on our trip to western North Carolina. This one happens to be on my mother-in-law's property, even though the family whose house sits next to it has named it something else, the water, and the waterfall, are actually not on their property.

But so what? They have built a lovely deck and stairs and all kinds of stuff to enable them (and presumably their guests) to see this waterfall. My mother in law made a joke that if the neighbors gave her any grief about us visiting the waterfall, maybe she could build a wall to block it from their view.

Everybody knew it was a joke. But it stirred my thinking. Though she possesses the property right now, there will come a day when she is no longer here. And who will own it then? (Ostensibly her children will, but that's not the point) . The waterfall was there before she was born, before anyone reading this was born, and it will be there (I hope) after we are gone.

So it puts things in perspective -- a perspective which is sorely lacking inside the Beltway. We don't own anything. All of it belongs to God, and He has the final say over it. That's humbling.

I have been to the beach, and I have been on a ship in the middle of the ocean, and both places have made me feel small. But God is Sovereign over all of it. Even though it might not appear that everything is acting as He intended, He still is in charge.

It reminded me of God's dialogue with Job. God never explains why He did (or more accurately allowed) the things that happened to Job. He simply appeals to the creation and asks Job "where were you?" So looking at this waterfall or the ocean reminded me of how much we are really dependent on what some call the "general grace" of God.

But the neat thing is that the One who controls the sun, the moon, the stars, the oceans -- and the waterfalls -- is kindly disposed towards us. He is so in love with us that He became one of us and not only "walked a mile in our shoes" but also died the death that we deserved in order that we might live the Life that He intended.

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