[Caveat Lector: This post is not all that cohesive, and I know that. It starts somewhere, travels multiple paths simultaneously, and ends up where none of those paths were going. Maybe you can relate, anyway.]
Sometimes it just seems that everything is run down and broken.
- the shower plumbing is leaking
- 1) my push-mower and 2) my little tractor are in different shops, and 3) my neighbor’s tractor, which he kindly lets me borrow, mysteriously conked out, too
- the garage roof desperately needs a roofer
- my nearly-antique pickup has been on its last, brittle-boned leg for more than a year now — I gave it a merciful oil transfusion on Friday, all the while thinking I could just as easily be pulling the proverbial plug and sending it into junkyard heaven
- the SUV mileage is getting high, and it has a computer-glitched airbag light on, so I need to get that reset before we try to trade it in on a smaller car
- the rear storm door spring-arm-thingy is pulling out of the frame
- the tire valve stem on my motorcycle is broken
- there are concrete cracks in the sidewalk (but I did semi-successfully patch a hole in the disintegrating asphalt in our little car-park area)
- the porch wood needs treating
As for the human frame,
- my eyes are degenerating; I think I need bifocals
- my knees are weaker, resisting hiking to some degree, and my joints feel the strains of everyday tasks more than they used to
Oh, and did I mention my bicycle? I’ve had more than my share of flat tires in the last few years. I also broke a derailleur last summer. My brakes are iffy, and I have the sense that the whole bike is about to succumb (could be just my mindset).
On the upside, we feel blessed by two new, little window A/C units — un-burdening us from the oppression of heat and humidity. Thank God for cool blessings. And the township finally poured new sidewalks on our section of the road, making it possible to walk on them without dodging puddles and mosquitoes all the time … AND, they installed a brand new mailbox post for us, to boot! We did fix or positively alter a few things last week–cleaning and straightening, touch-up painting, etc. But, all in all, more things seem to be broken than fixed. This speaks metaphorically of the human condition, it seems to me.
Many millennia ago, the human condition actually started out in a sparkling gleam of wonder.
This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made earth and heaven. Now no shrub of the field was yet in the earth, and no plant of the field had yet sprouted, for the LORD God had not sent rain upon the earth, and there was no man to cultivate the ground. But a mist used to rise from the earth and water the whole surface of the ground. Then the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being. The LORD God planted a garden toward the east, in Eden; and there He placed the man whom He had formed. Out of the ground the LORD God caused to grow every tree that is pleasing to the sight and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
Now a river flowed out of Eden to water the garden; and from there it divided and became four rivers. . . .
Then the LORD God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it. The LORD God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely. . . .” (Genesis 3, NASB)
See — things were terrific for a time. Nothing broken, nothing messed up. And then, with a careless, rebellious act or two, everything changed. I was edified by reading Genesis 1-3 on Saturday morning (and glad to have been spurred to do so by the host/facilitator of the house church leader of the group we met with Sunday). So many things to ponder in Genesis. For instance, I truly had a sense of awe, trying desperately to conceive of God-without-beginning. What was it when there were “waters” and “blackness” with God’s essence/spirit hovering and moving about — no earth, no sky, no anything but Him, really?
I was also caused to think about the uninformed, simply obedient, trusting life — as opposed to the knowledge glut that is the “life” of so many today. There’s something about that tree of knowledge of good & evil that God wanted to keep us away from for a reason. Google wants to give us every tidbit of extant knowledge, but we’d probably be better without it. Maybe more on that later, but in the meantime, I should rely less on Google and more on God as the supplying Fountain. Knowledge provided by a this-worldly source is helpful at best, but more likely misleading in its brokenness; wisdom from God is eternally significant.
“If you’ll walk around with a Bluetooth headset hanging from your ear, you’ll probably walk around with a Google chip in your brain.”
Nicholas Carr, Computing the Cost
The Sun, March, 2009