Sunday, August 22, 2010

Just in Case

by My Anonymous Friend

Ever had a really frightening email or phone call? I assume all of us have at some point. I got one such email this past week. A friend sent me a note to say that his doctor had used the dreaded word “Cancer” as he diagnosed some concerns my friend went to see him about. Suddenly everything changes!

We both serve together on a board. My friend suggested we go to the bank to add one more name to be authorized to sign checks for our organization, “just in case!” As we talked about some plans we had to attend a football game together later this fall, my friend said, “Let's see first what happens, just in case! Several more times during our board meeting time he said, “Let's see what happens, just in case! My friend went on to tell us that he was rethinking the lease on a new car because it might not be needed in the future, – “just in case!!”

We tend to live our lives as though we will live forever even though we know full well that we will not. We simply assume we will do this or that tomorrow, next week, or next month. My friend's announcement this past week reminded me once again how fragile and temporal life is.

Scripture addresses this topic:

Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit.” Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that.” But as it is, you boast in your arrogance; all such boasting is evil (James 4:13-16).

Speaking or thinking as though we are in charge of our lives is called arrogance and evil by this Scripture. I was struck by the harshness of this idea. But when we really think about it, assuming we are in charge of our lives really is arrogance. We are taking upon ourselves a prerogative that is not ours to take. Although we may not actually say so, we are really telling ourselves we are in charge of our lives when we say, “I will do this or that tomorrow!” We shut God out and assume He has nothing to say about our lives.

We are not in charge and the experience of my friend this past week was a painful reminder to me of this truth. I often say, “"God willing” when I make plans with others but today that expression takes on a fuller meaning.

Have a great week and be careful how you make plans – “just in case!”

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Fearfully and Wonderfully Made

by My Anonymous Friend

...we visited an exhibit entitled "Body Worlds and the Brain." This is a traveling exhibit making its way around North America. If it comes near where you live make the effort to go see it along with the more than 26 million people around the world who have already seen it. It is spell-binding and features preserved human bodies revealing inner anatomical structures in a process called plastination. This technique was developed at the University of Heidelberg in the 1970's. The exhibition shows nervous, muscle and bone systems and how they function together to make our bodies perform. Over 200 specimens of real human organs or organ systems are displayed along with 25 full body plastinations. It also demonstrates the development of the human body prior to birth from the first few weeks onward. I enjoyed the display of prosthetic devices (heart valves, hip joints, and the like) thinking I may not be so far away from needing some of this technology in the days to come. Hopefully not for a long time!

All the while we were there I kept wondering when someone or some display would raise the question of how all this came to be. Just how is it that our bodies are so incredibly wonderfully designed? The underlying assumption all through was that all this evolved over time. I could not help but wonder how anyone could really believe this to be true. In my mind all I could think of was the Scripture that says we are fearfully and wonderfully made.

I am not a medical person and medical things do not usually excite me. For my wife and daughter who are both nurses the exhibit was particularly fascinating from that standpoint. However, I too was spell-bound by all this. Having seen what goes on inside my body I now feel almost afraid to move lest anything be pushed out of place or somehow be damaged. Of course that is foolish, but it points out how intricately our bodies are designed and how fantastically they function.

To me it all serves as a reminder that we have an omnipotent and sovereign God, the Ultimate Designer and Creator! Praise be to Him!