Wednesday, December 16, 2015

And It’s Still a Mystery to Me …

So many things are still a mystery to me.

It’s still a mystery to me how the sky can go from happy like this …

… or this …

… or even looking like the hand of God is reaching over in protection (from the lower left) …

… to angry like this in just a few minutes. Why I did not experience a downpour today is a mystery.

I’m reading an advent devotional with a friend. Pulled from the writings of Dietrich Bonhoeffer. You know, nothing heavy. Ha! Just kidding. Bonhoeffer was a preacher in Nazi Germany. He spent two years in prison before being executed just prior to Hitler’s suicide.

Merry German Christmas!

After week one’s writings on “Waiting” smacked me upside the head, last week’s theme was “Mystery”. It started with this line …

“The lack of mystery in our modern life is our downfall and our poverty.
A human life is worth as much as the respect it holds for the mystery.”

Oh yeah. Ponder that one for a moment.

All pondered? Great. Onward.

I like a good puzzle. I like figuring things out. I’m a big picture lay out the connections and the patterns and how everything fits together kind of person. Hack apart the process, the problem, the project and streamline that baby. Nerd alert moment … it is true that I aced the analytical portion of the GRE. I never met a logic puzzle I didn’t like.

I hate surprises, though. I like to have all the information so I can solve the mystery, solve the puzzle, solve the problem. And be prepared like a good boy scout.

Maybe this is my downfall and poverty.

The mystery of advent and of the creation story itself … well, when you step back and think just a wee bit, the whole shebang is difficult to wrap one’s head around. It’s weird. Really, really weird. Relying on the story, relying on the father, son, and holy ghost takes faith. It just does. I find I receive more peace and signs and confirmation and life makes a whole lot more sense when I rely on the biblical account than when I give any real credence to the thought that we might have evolved from a paramecium.

But I didn’t intend for this to be a post on apologetics. And there’s still so much mystery.

I’m getting better at the waiting and mystery, but I don’t think I’ll ever have it mastered.

It’s still a mystery to me … that people who think they know me can be so wrong.

It’s still a mystery to me … that I think I know people and can be so off base.

It’s still a mystery to me … that I can be chastised and shunned for the same (perfectly moral) things for which others are cheered and congratulated. Whatever. In the words of the inimitable Coach Wampler, life is not fair!

It’s still a mystery to me … why this line stands out to me every time …

“This blessedness of life sometimes brings me to my knees.”

It’s also a mystery why my Color Green friends are all ixnay on the ollective-Cay oul-Say.

It’s still a mystery to me … what I will accomplish tomorrow, let alone two weeks or a month from now. The five or ten year plan? Bahahaha!

And I’m a compulsive planner. Imagine my discomfort in the present mysterious circumstances.

Advent continues. Holiday insanity continues.

It’s still a mystery to me … why we take on so much work when we probably ought be setting aside more time for reflection. Perhaps leftover pagan tendencies. If we’re going to coopt Saturnalia, we need to make it a big giant party, right? With a nod to Bacchus as we eat our weight in Christmas cookies and fudge. A google search tells me there is actually a barely known goddess of gluttony mentioned in one source, but we’ll go with Mr. Partay Partay.

Don’t get me wrong. The birth of the savior of the world is a great excuse for a party. I once was present for a sermon where the words, “our god is a party god” were uttered. I’m just not sure that one who didn’t come in with guns blazing like people expected would be all about the going through the motions that so many seem to do. That it’s so easy to do.

Maybe Jesus likes massive amounts of Christmas lights. As long as we pause to appreciate them.

Blurry Christmas lights. Slightly mysterious.

Less mysterious.

Chistmas lights dance party remix. The chili peppers flash on and off.

This mystery of life sometimes brings me to my knees …

For more on “Mystery” from my writing partners, see Sue Bowles at and Leisa Herren at “It’s still a mystery to me” is from the song “Here With Us” as introduced to me by the Bush/Tooley consortium of my WV / Tri-State area peeps.

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