On the Way
by Ben Swanson
I heard a radio personality claim to have “figured out” the slot machines at a local casino. He claimed that a bank of four machines always paid out at a certain time of day on a specific day of the week. His co-hosts listened, made mild fun of him, but let the story go because he had the cash winnings to “prove” it. Predictably, the next week, he gave back all of his winnings and more to the same machines he had previously “figured out.”
Sometimes I feel like that guy. Just when I think I’ve figured out God, life, pastoring, husbanding or parenting, something shifts drastically. Things that previously seemed solid turn to sand, or things that previously seemed vaporous turn to stone.
Over and over again we get reminded that life is not a puzzle to be solved. Relationships are not marble sculptures. God cannot be comprehended or controlled. When we think we’ve solved life, cemented a relationship, or understood God … surprise! Not so much.
What we do with surprises becomes more important than how we previously understood anything. I hope the casino gambler learns from his surprise loss and stops gambling. I hope we learn from surprises with life, relationships and God to stop trusting in our own understanding.
Faith is a verb. Christianity is a relationship. Life is a journey.