A Rubix Cube. A mixed up maze of colors determined to find order, normalcy, harmony… or in more human terms: rest. Infinite possible rotations and turns with little idea of how each one will inevitably affect the other. Finally harmonizing one side only to tear it a part to assemble another. Long periods of confusion, intense contemplation, reversing thoughtless spins that lead to dead ends – even thoughtful attempts that didn’t pan out.
That’s all a rubix cube is: Chaos seeking order.
I find my mind spinning as the patches of colors do on that cube, wondering if I am formulating just the right combinations to land everything in it’s picture perfect place. And as one color becomes whole, it’s quickly re-scattered to complete another. Nothing all at once, so it seems, only in pieces and fragments is this puzzle making sense.
Many prayers have I prayed asking God to align the colors of my life; some colors I long for more than others. As I’ve seen glimpses of these hopes, dreams, desires begin to form they seem to be spun into a different time frame – a different season, a different place. Each time there’s a little gasp, a tiny exhale that grows deeper and wearier.
But this time I couldn’t breath silently. I also couldn’t continue the same “spinning” pattern that has still yet to provide any solution, only wallowing in in the questions.
“Good question.” has been a catch phrase as of late, mostly sarcastic deflection trying to cover that exhale with humor. But not yet have I thought “Good answer.” Maybe because I thought my answer was found somewhere in that cube – somewhere in figuring it all out, “Certainty” sure masquerades itself as a dependable companion. Until it wonders off while you’re looking the other way and neglects to tell you where the rendezvous point is.
So Certainty is not the answer, at least not a reliable one, but oh how I’ve paced many paths chasing after it. And as I stood overwhelmed at yet again another fork in the road in the pursuit of Certainty, I was offered a Greater Thing.
This fork in the road was different than most, I’ve seen it but a few times in my journey and in each instance the choice laid before me alluded to a unique window of time in which God wanted to cure something. There was first a lesser thing, and then a Greater Thing. The lesser thing involved Certainty (which I now know has a twisted love affair with Confusion) and the lesser thing seemed appealing because it offered familiarity – because familiar things are always easier to cope with than the unknown. Even if that means remaining hooked on my heart-numbing coping mechanisms; at least I know how to function within my dysfunction. The lesser thing is easy to embrace.
And then there was the Greater Thing. My heart troubled over shifting seasons, certainly confusing circumstances and another scattering square on my Cube. And as I was asking all of my “good questions” I finally gave ear to a Good Answer: A Heart Un-offended. I pondered the life of Joseph through out Genesis and wondered about all of his “good questions” and what Good Answer he might have gotten. I thumbed through the Psalms and wept aloud with David and again wondered what Good Answer soothed his soul. I pressed my forehead against the prison bars with John the Baptist and validated his doubts; but in Matthew chapter 11 verse 6 I found for myself the Good Answer, “And blessed is the one who is not offended by me.”
Many are the questions that come with that Cube, and each time a spin of that square doesn’t pan out the lesser thing will validate it’s offense with every “good question” it can conjure up, and the more questions and doubts it can spout off before it’s told to hush the harder it is to hear the Good Answer when it’s offered. Your good questions might sound something like, “Are You ever going to change this, God? Am I doing something wrong? Did I miss the metaphorical ‘turn’? Are You even seeing what’s happening? Do you even CARE?” – or that could just be my own inner monologue. But those questions make us slaves to offense. Will Reagan in his song Looking For A Savior sings, “We may bless or we may curse every twist and every turn, but will we learn to know the joy of living?…May our souls behold humility.”
The lesser thing would have let me go on unchanged, content in my dysfunctional familiarity; but the Greater Thing offered freedom with-in me that I could not find by Certainty with-out me. The Greater Thing quieted my good questions with a Good Answer. And as I embraced the unfamiliar Way, I recognized I was now embracing the Way of Jesus.
In times of uncertainty and transition, if you find yourself at yet another fork in the road, my prayer over you is this poem.
A Greater Thing I ask of You than circumstances unaffected,
But give to me a heart un-offended
by the Way in which You lead.
With many adventures waiting,