Wednesday, April 24, 2013


I wonder if there is a planet named Socks. It’s the place where missing socks go. I mean, just where do socks go? You put a pair in the washer but only one comes out. You put a pair in the dryer but only one comes out. Does the missing sock dissolve into lint? Does it escape through the dryer vent and having escaped travel to parts unknown? Does it join the sock underground and live the rest of its days clandestinely?

You put a pair of socks in the clean laundry basket to be carried upstairs, sorted, folded, and put in the sock drawer – but once upstairs there is only one sock, where did the other go? Is there a mother ship that beams socks up to live long and prosper? Are the beamed-up socks embarked on an adventure destined to take them where no socks have gone before?

What of those socks that escape while they are still dirty? Is that against the rules? Do the clean socks on the run shun dirty socks? Are dirty socks known as “sock trash”? If a dirty sock is mistakenly beamed-up is it summarily placed in an ejection pod and sent back to earth? Or perhaps the dirty sock is quarantined and laundered in space?

Since I can’t travel to Easter Island and ponder the strange statues there I have to content myself with pondering socks, and since I can’t get to first base with E=MC2 I’ll mentally wrestle with socks – though I can’t seem to get to first base with socks either.

Maybe the secret life of socks is the basis for a new reality television show – it would beat most of what’s on; plus it would add to our understanding of the universe and might even lead to the discovery of an unknown planet.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

A Garden Hose

Rather mundane? I suppose. But the image is with me. Yesterday as I was watering our vegetable garden (lettuce, potatoes, Swiss chard and Brussels sprouts) the water stopped flowing through the hose. This is a common occurrence with our hoses, akin to a string of Christmas tree lights not working. Since I knew that the water supply was good (even though we’re on a well I hadn’t watered that much) I looked for a kink in the hose; sure enough there it was only a few feet away; as soon as I straightened the hose the water continued its flow.

I thought about how sin blocks the flow of Christ’s life in me. When I allow sin to bend my thoughts, my heart, my actions – oh and especially my words! – the free-flowing life of Christ in me is restricted; when this happens I can’t water those around me. The problem is never with the supply, the Spirit of Christ, unlike our well, is inexhaustible; God gives us His Spirit freely to enjoy; the problem is always with me – when my life is bent by sin I need only to look in the mirror to find the culprit.

When my garden hose is bent and restricted I am quick to diagnose and correct the problem – am I as quick to deal with sin? Am I as quick to repent and seek the grace of Christ to unbend me (which I cannot do on my own)? Am I quick to desire the free-flow of His grace through me so that others may be blessed?

Jesus says, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’” [John 7:37-38]. This is the normative picture of the Christian life for it is Christ’s picture. Jesus tells a woman that He will put a fountain of water in her springing up into eternal life and that she’ll never thirst again (John 4:12). These are images of infinite supply and free-flowing water – water for ourselves and water for others.

Dare we to believe the word of Jesus?

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Fog on the Highway

On Easter afternoon three people were killed and at least twenty-five were taken to the hospital in an accident (technically there were seventeen accidents within a one-mile stretch of road) on I-77 in Virginia. According to Virginia State Police once the first accident happened everyone else was traveling too fast for road conditions to stop – there was fog.

However, there was not only fog, there were signs on the road warning drivers to slow down. Drivers had the signs, they had their own eyes, they had their years of driving experience, but they didn’t slow down – some of them died, some were seriously hurt, some ninety-five of them wrecked their cars. Families were affected and lives were changed as speeding drivers entered a mile of terror. Had the drivers slowed down they might have reached their destinations an hour later, perhaps more than an hour later, but they would have reached them – some would still be alive, some would not be in the hospital, some children would not have lost parents. The fog was there for the eye to see, the signs were there for the eye to read – both were ignored.

Was there a driver or two who thought, “I really should slow down but since everyone else is driving so fast I’d better go fast too.”? Was there another driver who thought, “I should slow down but I don’t want other drivers to be impatient with me so I’ll keep the speed up”? Were others thinking, “I know there is fog and I see the signs, but I’ll be able to stop in time if there’s trouble”? Was there a car in which a wife was saying to her husband, “Honey, please slow down”?

We can live like everyone else, think like everyone else, go down life’s highway like everyone else – in spite of Biblical warning signs, in spite of the fog that society lives in – if we do so we can expect to join others in a mile of terror. On the other hand, if we follow Jesus we have His promise that He will never leave us or forsake us and that His peace will live within us no matter what we may encounter – in Jesus Christ we have a sure and certain promise of an endless future in Him. We can live and run with the herd or we can take up our cross and follow Jesus (Mark 34-38).

Better to walk with Jesus in the light than to speed down the fog-enveloped highway of society.