The most excellent story, in my opinion, is the one that begins gently. Like floating down a lazy summer river, the imagination is carried along on a current of emotion that ebbs and flows with the unfolding of the plot, sometimes steadily forward, at other times spinning, dipping and rising with increasing momentum and complexity.
The real thrill begins, however, when the water begins to churn and roll. Without warning the river drops out of site and the characters plummet, swallowed up suddenly into crisis. The events leading up to that moment quickly dim as the details that held your attention just moments before give way to one consuming question: And then what happened?
Last week our Pastor, along with his young son, was in a head-on collision: one moment traveling along a predictable course and then, without warning, careening off into the unexpected realm of life flights and emergency surgery. Life changed direction in a moment.
Such is the story of life… for all of us. Try as we may, control is illusory. In fact perhaps the greatest illusion of life is the illusion of control. We should not be caught off guard or shocked when life does not turn out the way we had hoped. It is in the unexpected that our metal is tested and character is revealed with raw and brutal honesty. Trial is the mechanism through which we are refined.
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1:2-4
None of us hope to face trial or hardship. We would much prefer our story to be predictable and free of the negative elements of the human experience. Yet the truth is that rarely do exceptional human beings emerge out of ordinary circumstances. Rather it is the hardships of life that birth the extraordinary.
The narrative of the human story recorded in God’s word teaches us that it is our response to shattered dreams that really defines us and our story.
We are called to worship through tears, to seek Him even in the darkness. The entire point of our journey is to know God. The events of our life should cause us to draw closer to Him and to know Him more deeply.