It’s Spring….which around here means spring practice for the Clemson football team. News from the practice field keep us up on how certain players are progressing. Right now there is a lot of competition for the position of quarterback. The only way to determine who is the best of these competitors is through trials. Coaches intentionally set up situation plays that will challenge the player’s beliefs and draw out their weaknesses. The players themselves will try moves that have worked before….and find out a new thing. But, as one reporter said, “that’s what spring is about.”
In that regard, our lives are a perpetual Spring because that’s what our lives are about.
Some people really have a hard time accepting that God would do anything to us or for us that wasn’t all sweetness and easy. For them, when God’s gifts are described in springtime terms, they only allow the concept to include vibrant green meadows of grazing sheep, delicate flowers, and bright bird song. But those bird songs are battle cries…fierce warnings to protect and defend. Birth of the young is fraught with dangers; one animal’s young devouring another animal’s young. Spring rains can wash out multitudes. Survival is only of the fittest. Green shoots are amazingly strong and can move rocks, pull down trees, and tumble earth. Those pretty flowers are the plant’s one shot at continued growth; fail to compete for the attention of the insect and you lose. No fruit; no future.
Bernadette Roberts said:
“The way it goes is that God takes something from us and then waits for our reaction. Usually He takes something we never even knew we had to give and this is because God works at the unconscious level, while we can only work at the conscious level or with what we know about ourselves. So God’s work is really undercover, for which reason we need absolute faith and trust in what we do not know or cannot see – ourselves or God.
God is not a Santa Clause figure that only gives good gifts. God is a parent, a creator, who takes the responsibility of growing us up. And He does it with honest love and tenderness. He might send a leviathan to swallow us up if we refuse to go on our own and make us go through the same scenarios over and over like drills but it is with love that he does this because that’s what life is about: growing us up.
When God sent Adam and Eve from the Garden, He made them clothes first. God put the clothes on them…just the way a loving parent would. I can imagine Him saying, “Now, go out and play…and work, and learn. Push yourself a little; take some chances. Allow yourself to make some mistakes and learn from them. It’s all good. Nothing is wasted. I’ll be here. I’m not going anywhere.”
(I’m using an image posted online by Clemsongirl.com .)