Friday, July 22, 2011

Stuck in the Moment

The old joke has it that the turtle on top of a fence post didn't get there by himself. That is telling in a lot of ways - not least is the awareness that the turtle probably didn't have much to do with - nor desire for - where he ended up. Sometimes we are in the same place - stuck where we are, not sure quite how we got here, unable to move. And in desperate need of help.

Maybe that was the situation of the psalmist when he cried out, “I look to the hills. Where does my help come from?” When you are a turtle in the post position, there is no where else to look but to the hills! Your point of view is limited to what the geography presents before you. The question is not directed to the hills, however. It is inspired by them.

The answer echoes back from the purple mountain majesties, “My help comes from the Lord - who made this mountain and the earth it is on and the heavens the earth is in!” And now you’ve got a turtle with an attitude - an attitude of gratitude as he reminds his turtle soul of the full truth about his God. “He will not allow your foot to slip! The one who keeps you will not drift off in the middle of the night. He won’t slumber or sleep!”

As the dark night terrors give way to the blistering heat of the day, his spirits rise with the sun. “The Lord is your keeper - he is your shade - the sun will not smack you down during the day, nor the moon by night! The Lord will protect you from evil - he will keep your soul and set a guard over you wherever you go. Forever!” Bottom line, it is not over until the Lord says its over!

That provides great hope for those of us who feel stuck - paralyzed in the moment of our lives. Even in our stuckness, we are not out of His care. In fact, not being able to move - not being able to do one single thing to help ourselves - puts us totally and completely at God’s mercy. And what better place is there to be? While we may feel helpless, but we are never - never - hopeless!

And, seeing as how we are up here anyway, we might just as well enjoy the view - and its reminder of Whose we are.

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