Advertisements

Tag Archive: control


Clouds 1When I was growing up, my grandmother on my mother’s side – Grandma Kelley – lived in the other side of a duplex from my aunt, uncle, and cousins in Adele, Iowa. The large screen porch led to separate entrances for each side. But when you went up the stairs in one side, you could walk all the way down the hall and then down the stairs to the other side of the duplex. I don’t remember if there was a bedroom on the first floor of either side, but if there was, there was only one and it belonged to my grandmother, and my aunt and uncle, respectively.

My brother and I slept upstairs. On one occasion, I was sleeping by myself. I don’t know why. We usually slept together at relatives’ houses. I think I was ill, but I wouldn’t swear to it. I was sleeping on one of the old, raised beds, the kind you had to climb into – particularly if you were under the age of twelve.

There were vents in the floor upstairs – or the ceiling downstairs, whichever way you look at it. I assume it was a way to keep the house warm in the winter – letting heat rise to the rooms upstairs. You could see down into the lower floor through the vents. You could also hear everything that was said over a whisper. Which could be embarrassing, but it also kept me from making several unwanted entrances into family rooms.

I remember having a hard time going to sleep with the voices coming up through the floor vent. It was hard trying to go to sleep and still trying to hear what the voices were saying. They sounded as if those talking were in the bottom of a shallow cavern. A head cold or flu would have increased the effect (I don’t remember having anything worse than that away from home).

I have no idea exactly what I was dreaming about. But I do remember the voices guiding the dream on some level. At some point I imagined stepping off of the bed and dropping through the floor. I kept falling, with clouds below me and no earth in sight. I remember actually having a falling sensation.

While I was falling I was frightened, but it never occurred to me that I would hit anything – much less hit it hard enough to die. I was sure that God would save me. As young as I was, I had faith in a loving and just God. I didn’t have all the baggage I have now. Baggage that makes me question something when I should just take it on faith.

I finally woke up, of course. But what one would consider the innocent dream of a naive child was actually an implicit assumption based on unquestioning faith. We all have had a similar type of experience when we were younger. A time when (real or in a dream) we mentally and physically had no control and had to depend on God.

I’ve had numerous experiences since that night – both in life and in dreams – in which I felt out of control. Unfortunately, I wasn’t always as successful as that night in trusting God to help. And I know I am not alone. We need to get some of that naivete back. True, we cannot undo experience and knowledge. But we can return to a childlike wonderment of God. Trusting him to protect us, even in our dreams. He does keep amazing us if we’re paying attention.

What was one of your most memorable faith experiences or “God moments?”

Peace be with you.

Advertisements

Have you ever bought a bag of potato chips – or other munchie (although, oddly enough, it is always potato chips with me) – and open it to find nothing but air? As if some ticked off employee who is having a bad day fiendishly plotted – complete with crooked grin and sneer – to put a hitch in my day. I always took it as a personal affront because usually it was the only cash I had at the time and I was away from the store when I opened it and would not have been able to prove it was actually empty.

The fact that it contained no salt could simply mean that I wiped it clean. Although why anyone would do that, I could not tell you. Suffice it to say, the empty bag pops up at the most inopportune time. We had one of the large variety boxes of chips. The empty bag is never discovered right away. That would be rather convenient and that is not allowed.

The empty bag, of course, was the last bag of one of our sons’ favorite chip. Which, also quite naturally, he had been saving for just that particular occasion. If you have been one of the chosen few who have never received an empty bag of chips, you can liken it to the time in college when you were settling back one evening. You get a cup of coffee or your favorite beverage, find a book you actually want to read, then go to the cabinet and your roommate has eaten your last Ding Dong (insert favorite dessert treat). Going to the store to get a replacement, while within the realm of possibility, just would not be the same thing. The moment is ruined.

As to the empty bag of chips, there is no real person to blame. I used to imagine the assembly line worker who fills the bag with chips turning to another worker. With a fiendish look on his face, he says, “I’m going to fix somebody,” as he passes the empty bag down the line. Ostensibly getting back at who knows who about who knows what. He feels bad so making someone else feel bad apparently evens things out.

It is harder to get upset at a machine having a sudden glitch and not pushing the chips into the bag which would be sealed by another machine that did not know the difference. And if you are one of the lucky people who have never bought an empty bag of chips, your time may still come. I have happened upon several myself, and each member of my family has had it happen to them at least once. I would think we have reached our quota.

“I said in my heart with regard to human beings that God is testing them to show that they are but animals.” Ecclesiastes 3:18

Am I suggesting that empty chip packages or roommates eating the last dessert treat are tests from God? Certainly not. God has considerably more important matters to attend to than a glitch in the machinery at the chip factory, the act of a disgruntled employee, or a hungry roommate. God created the world and set it in motion. Humans are the unpredictable factor in the equation – thanks to free will.

With all of our gadgets and internet connections, giving us the illusion of being in control of our lives, we still need to be reminded that we are not in control. To think that we are is surely a vanity and chasing after wind.

Peace be with you.

%d bloggers like this: